HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office kicked off a series of community outreach forums on Wednesday night.

“We have so many new people that moved into Berkeley County and they may not know the sheriff’s office. They may not know their sheriff,” said Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis.

The first community outreach forum took place at Bowen’s Corner Elementary and focused on the Goose Creek and Hanahan areas. Sheriff Lewis explored different crime trends, issues, and statistics.

“I want the people to hear those things. I want them to understand that, you know, it’s not just us responding to a call. We’re looking at trends, we’re looking at data, we’re looking at crime statistics, and we’re putting our resources in those areas,” the sheriff told News 2.

Attendees were also able to ask questions. A few of the questions revolved around traffic, which Sheriff Lewis said has become the number one issue in the county because of the growth in population.

Sheriff Lewis spent part of the night explaining what the sheriff’s office does, all the different units, and what new features are in the works. He said he is planning to add four motorcycle deputy sheriffs to the traffic unit as well as an intelligence unit.

The event was an opportunity for law enforcement to better connect with the people they serve.

“We couldn’t do this job without the community. We really need the involvement from the community to keep us aware of what’s going on. Tips are important. Engagement. It is truly a partnership,” said Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker with BCSO.

The next forum is scheduled to take place on October 25 at Cane Bay High School, beginning at 6 pm.