RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Twenty years ago, the Richland County Sheriff's department developed the Community Action Team, otherwise known as CAT.
Well before social media and Live PD, the department wanted to build strong relationships with people in the community.
To mark the milestone on Monday, the department showed off 17 brand new, high-powered, high-tech Chevy Camaros aimed at helping the CAT team continue to build that bond.
"You know that's a CAT team deputy. Bad guys see those cars, they know, CAT team deputy," Sheriff Leon Lott said. "Our goal was to build relationships and be proactive but if something happens, the CAT team will be right there."
The new Camaros are fully equipped with 455 horsepower engines and the latest electronics.
"You can't do your job without good equipment," said Deputy Garo Brown, who is a six year veteran of the CAT team.. "As far as these cars are concerned, law enforcement is evolving just like crime is evolving so you've got to upgrade sometime."
The new cruisers include several of the latest features in technology, including rear-view cameras. Deputies can also perform background checks on individuals through a mobile data terminal using high-speed internet.
"It's just a better car all around," Brown added.
The sheriff says they will help keep the CAT team highly visible in the communities they patrol.