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Posted on: February 25, 2022

Beaufort PD's annual report shows decline in violent crime in 2021

BEAUFORT, S.C. (Feb. 25, 2022) –  The Beaufort Police Department and the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department today their released 2021 annual reports that examine data and highlights from the year. 

Police Department

The Police Department reported a decrease in violent crime in 2021, compared to the two previous years. In 2021, Beaufort reported 47 violent crimes, compared to 68 in 2020 and 58 in 2019. Violent crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. There was one homicide in Beaufort in 2021; in 2020 there were none.

Property crimes essentially stayed flat with 2020, going from 469 to 471. Property crimes include burglaries, larcenies and theft, motor vehicle thefts, and arson.

The department reported 97,301 calls for service, compared to 90,095 in 2020. Officers made 440 arrests, compared to 491 the previous year. 

The six-person Investigations Division handled 402 cases, of which 19% are still active. Others have been cleared by arrests, or closed for other reasons.

The department’s Community Response Team held four Chill with a Cop events during the year, designed to bring out neighborhood families to participate in fun activities with officers. The department also began Greg’s Groceries, providing boxes of non-perishable food to families who appear in need. 

The department, like many across the country, continues to struggle with staffing. It currently has 48 full-time officers and has eight vacancies. “Despite these challenges we remain dedicated to providing the most professional and fair law enforcement service to our city. Almost one-third of our officers have been with the department for over 10 years, a sure sign of their devotion,” said Police Chief Dale McDorman.

“The City of Beaufort has not seen a rise in crime like so many other cities around the country, and that is a tribute to both our department and our community,” said Mayor Stephen Murray.  “I applaud the Police Department for the quality of its officers, its community outreach efforts, and its commitment to transparency.”

Police Department 2021 Annual Report

 (Contact for more information: Capt. George Erdel, gerdel@cityofbeaufort.org; 843.322.7958 .)

Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department

The Fire Department has seen a steady rise in call volume over the years, the report showed. It handled 4,329 calls in 2021, compared to 4,138 in 2020. Fire Marshal John Badgett conducted 617 inspections in 2021, compared to 522 in 2020.

The vast majority of the calls for service – 2,728 – were for emergency medical reasons. The department responded to 52 fires, 303 rescues or accidents, and 399 general service calls. 

The department also put a new pumper truck into service. It conducted more than 16,000 hours of training. Four firefighters received their emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, 22 received advanced EMT, and two were certified as paramedics. 

The Fire Department prides itself on its public outreach. In 2021, it held 133 public education events that reached 1,595 adults and 2,383 children. The department installed 62 smoke alarms in homes.

In August of 2021, Tim Ogden was promoted to fire chief, replacing Reece Bertholf, who became deputy city manager.

“Our Fire Department is committed to the safety of our community, which you can see in its constant training, educational outreach, and excellent response to any emergency,” Mayor Murray said.

Fire Department 2021 Annual Report

(Contact for more information: Chief Tim Ogden, togden@cityofbeaufort.org843-525-7030.)

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