Florence County Sheriff’s office says aviation program is “alive and well”

FLORENCE, SC – Back in April, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a helicopter and its new aviation program.

However, just one month later county council Vice Chair James Schofield told News13 funding could be an issue.

“The aviation is alive and well,” said Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

He says the Florence County Sheriff’s Office aviation program is still intact.

“It’s an invaluable piece to the puzzle and I think it enhances law enforcement in this area,” Nunn stated.

However, before final reading of Florence County’s budget in June, there were doubts the county could fund the sheriff’s office request.

According to the 2016 budget, the sheriff’s office requested $320,000 for the program.

However, at the time the county only granted the department with $20,000.

“Since that budget was put to bed and finalized we were able to find in our budget.  Probably about $110,000 in other items that were budgeted,” Nunn explained.

He says through cost savings from both vendors and other programs along with the funds from county council, the money is there.

In total, the sheriff’s office has about $135,000 dedicated to the program.

“We are very proud of the program…and it’s only going to improve as time goes on.”

Right now, the sheriff’s office has one active helicopter with a second used for parts.

Major Nunn says as the program continues he hopes support for it will grow through the budget process.

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