CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Starting up a podcast can vary in costs from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars.
Last year, the Charleston County Sherriff’s Office started its own.
But how much did the new venture cost taxpayers?
According to receipts and invoices obtained by Live 5 Investigates through a Freedom of Information Act request, about $8,498.25 in total.
“The Beat: A CCSO Podcast” launched in late September 2021. The department has produced eight episodes so far.
In each, host Radia Baxter or “Radia B” as she goes by in the show, covers topics from open carry laws, hurricane preparedness and features community partners.
The first episode features Sherriff Kristen Graziano, who Radia identifies by her nickname of “Special K” at the start.
Documents show the department placed an order worth $5,134.63 in equipment from B&H photo video Inc. in New York, New York.
That included a microphone kit, an LED light kit, green paint, USB adapters and acoustic panels.
Plus, an order for a Macbook pro computer for $2,799.00 and two light kits from amazon worth $518 plus $46.62 in tax were included in Live 5′s request for all equipment purchased to produce the podcast.
There hasn’t been a new episode since January, but are told more are in the works.
According to Live365.com podcasting equipment can range from $200 on the low end to more than $5,00 including computer costs.
The Sheriff’s Office reports that the computer and other equipment are being used for projects beyond the podcast, such as recruitment videos and social media/marketing purposes.
They also tell us they consulted with the Mount Pleasant and Summerville police departments, which have their own podcasts too.
Full statement from Charleston County Sheriff’s Office:
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is constantly looking for new ways to connect with the community, engage the community and serve the community. Creating a podcast that showcases community partnerships, highlights our staff’s good work and educates others about law enforcement is just a new way the agency is making that connection. And while it’s new for us, it’s not new for law enforcement in general. Agencies across the country and in the Lowcountry are using podcasts to connect with their communities as well.
This equipment includes audio recording technology and lighting used to create videos for internal and external purposes. Our podcasts have highlighted how Project Lifesaver is saving lives. They have educated the public about the law. They have invited community members to discuss projects like the Cops & Kids Back 2 School Bash in Lincolnville, which brings youths and law enforcement together. Beyond the podcasts, we are using it to record portions of recruitment videos, which are vital in our efforts to fill open positions for deputies and detention deputies. Work on these projects is handled in-house without any external ongoing production expenses. We’ll also be using it for recorded portions of the upcoming promotional process for existing supervisors.
It’s clear that law enforcement has changed over the years as various media have become accessible for use by a broad segment of society, not just traditional media. We use social media and other tools because our community members do. It all adds up to help create a stronger bond with our community.
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