Thank you to Patricia Ravenhorst, General Counsel at the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), and Rita Wearbon, Victim Advocate at the City of Greenville Police Department.
The goal of Ten at the Top’s Creating a Safer Upstate Initiative is to create a safer and more united Upstate Region where law enforcement and community leaders work together to foster a culture mutual respect. Officers attended elementary schools around the Upstate on Fist Bump Friday last week.
A Law Enforcement and Community Leader Forum was held on June 14, 2022 at the Blue Ridge Community Center in Seneca in conjunction with Tri-County Technical College
Law enforcement officers were in attendance to share information on police use of technology, general policing policies, community engagement, and police recruiting & training. As we learn time and again, education is key to creating trust. Community leaders shared their concerns about transparency in policing and the importance of cultural competency.
The Use of Analytics to Drive Policing Workshop was held via Zoom on June 13, 2022 with presenters Dr. Lee Hunt, PhD, from the Greenville City Police Department, and Dr. Michele Covington, PhD, from the USC Upstate Crime Analysis Center (UCAC).
Crime analysis assists in evidence-based policing, is efficient and resourceful, and ensures that decision-making is strategic and fair. Ultimately crime analysis holds accountable those who commit crime, provides assistance for victims, and enhances crime prevention.
UCAC provides training, resources, and support; analytical expertise for law enforcement agencies; problem analysis assistance; and public training on problem-solving strategies.
Dr. Hunt shared the Greenville Police Department’s 2021 Year-End Statistics Report to show how Greenville PD uses predictive policing with local data to analyze historical crime data, predict future crimes, and efficiently deploy law enforcement with the goal of reducing violent crime without imprisonment.
The presentations are available here and the recording of the workshop is here.
Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop – Law Enforcement Outreach Strategies
The first Creating a Safer Upstate – Beyond the Shield Virtual Workshop of 2022 provided an opportunity for Upstate law enforcement agencies to share some of the ways they engage with their local communities.
The law enforcement panelists for the session were Chief Matt Hamby from the City of Greer, Chief Sonny Ledda from the City of Clinton, Chief Ben Ford from the City of Travelers Rest, and Lt. Todd Caron from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. The Community Leaders participating in the conversation will be Inez Morris from the West Greenville Neighborhood Association and Patrena Mims, Executive Director of the Bethlehem Center in Spartanburg’s Highland Neighborhood. Jim Shew from Marsh & McLennan and Keishe Nelson from Michelin coordinated the audience questions during the session.
Coffee with a Cop was a popular activity, along with community meetings, funeral escorts for veterans, and doing “talks” around town for churches and other civic groups. Many agencies offer trainings including active assailant, bus driver active shooter response, active shooter and reunification, and safety trainings for seniors and women. Many Upstate agencies also have citizens academies and do events for kids like trunk or treats, touch a trucks, First Bump Fridays, gun safety, Girls on the Run, summer Camp, and stuff a cruiser to collect school supplies and holidays gifts.
Ten at the Top will host a virtual event in May with Upstate agencies invited to hear from a National Night Out representative about the benefits of registering events this year, with the hope to have all events on the same day to build energy and awareness around community engagement.
Questions from the community involved building trust and relationships between law enforcement and communities. Chief Hamby discussed taking advantage of random opportunities to engage while working in neighborhoods, and the efforts law enforcement makes to incorporate community engagement into their work. COP cards (like baseball cards) were mentioned, and decals for drivers with autism. Many agencies receive training from their local disabilities and special needs boards.
View the slide presentation here, and a recording of the meeting here.