I have mentioned just a few areas below where energy, effort, and concentration need to be placed. Please see the Vision in the GCSO employee section to view an even more detailed look into some of these areas and others. That section is designed so the employees would have a working knowledge of the topics posted. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions you might have.
Have you waited too long for a deputy?
One of the most crucial parts of determining the efficiency and effectiveness of an investigation is the time it takes for the first responding deputy to arrive on scene. This can sometimes be the difference between life or death, the apprehension of a subject, or the prevention of a crime all together.
The main responsibility of the Sheriff's Office is to respond to 911 calls and other types of calls for service. Manpower and resources should be concentrated in these areas to ensure there are not delays in response times to initial calls for service. Certain types of calls require several deputies to remain on scene for several hours, which depletes the manpower available to answer other calls for service.
Ways of improving response time:
- I would add an additional 5 deputies to each platoon that are responsible for calls for service as first responding deputies.
- I would add a support unit that would work during high call volume hours of each day that would assist with major crime scenes or manhunts so that platoon deputies can stay available to answer calls for service. This unit would also be tasked with proactive patrol of criminal investigations within Field Operations.
- I would also add a tactical response unit that has special training in tactics to work these same hours that would be responsible for responding to situations requiring their specialized training so there is not a delay in their arrival and so that platoon deputies can remain available to answer calls for service.
- I would have investigative and warrants units working these high call volume hours to alleviate the calls being placed on platoon deputies so that platoon deputies can remain available to respond to emergency calls for service. Having these units available during these hours also allows a quicker response to secondary investigations that require an investigator to respond.
How often do you see the Sheriff's Office patrolling where you live?
True deterrence requires that criminals believe it is likely they will be caught. Criminals need to see areas that are saturated with deputies working, and not just merely passing by a deputy on the road from time to time. By better managing manpower and resources, you will see more deputies present in your area... and so will the criminals.
Ways of improving visibility:
- I would restructure manpower to allow for greater coverage and visibility throughout the county.
- I would allocate resources so there would be saturated areas of patrol.
- I would implement a schedule that would allow for a quicker response to secondary investigations so that patrol deputies would be relieved sooner and be able to proactively patrol.
Have you noticed this problem increasing among our youth?
Unfortunately drugs and gangs are a continuing problem. Many times the two go hand and hand. It is important that we do all we can to minimize the growth of these types of activities. We must do all we can to keep our youth from becoming involved with this behavior. We must put effort into investigating these issues at the first available opportunity.
Ways to address drug/gang issues:
- I would assign two narcotics/gang investigators to each platoon so that an investigator would be working 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Their responsibility would be to immediately conduct a follow up investigation into every drug and gang related arrest and assist platoons in their daily investigations of these areas.
- I would implement an educational training program that would be available for every school in the county to participate in the education of our youth
Securing Our Elementary Schools
Are you confident our children our safe?
Everyone that has a young child or knows of a young child that attends school understands the importance of their security while they are at school. It's sad that we live in a time where the concern of their safety while they are at school is paramount in our mind. With the growing threat to our country and the evil in the world, this is not something we can take lightly. We need to start a plan now to get a deputy in every Greenville County district elementary school and not simply be reactive to a troubling scenario.
Ways of securing our elementary schools:
- I would start an elementary School Resource Officer program by adding 5 deputies to begin working in elementary schools.
- I would work with the Greenville County School District to continue to add deputies to elementary schools until every school had a School Resource Officer.
Community Outreach Program
Do you feel like a partner in the effort to combat crime?
The Sheriffs Office is given a huge platform to be involved with the community and serve the community. Many law enforcement agencies have assigned a certain number of deputies to a unit and given it a title of community service. This creates a mindset in the agency that only those specific deputies are community deputies. This dilutes the meaning of community deputies. Each and every deputy is a community deputy.
A big part of a deputy's job is seeing the negative side of life and quite often seeing people in their worst moments during horrific situations. It is imperative that every deputy knows the meaning and importance of serving others. This allows the deputy to see the positive side of what they do and fulfill a greater purpose.
Examples of local community programs:
- Boot camp: Conducted during summer for juveniles 13 to 16 years old. This would focus on educating and mentoring youth about choices and developing a positive law enforcement relationship. Time would be spent touring facilities, guest speakers, and fun activities for the juveniles. A ceremony at the completion would be held to recognize their participation and completion.
- Day camp: Conducted when school is out for children ages 5 to 12 years of age. This would focus on kids being able to see Sheriffs Office vehicles and tools up close and participate in some fun activities with deputies. This would be used in an effort to form a bond between younger kids and law enforcement.
- Partner with businesses and churches to host carnivals to be available with materials and deputies to speak with the public and answer questions.
- Elderly citizen contact program.
Have you received quality service from the Sheriff's Office?
The type of services and quality of service is important to the success of any company. Often, government offices are the most lacking in customer service when in all reality they should be one of the best examples because they work directly for the people.
The type of services provided comes from the structure and allocation of resources. It is important that management understands the issues at hand and allocates the type of services needed to most effectively and most efficiently address the issues.
It is the leadership and management of the organization that sets the tone for the quality of the service that is received by the citizen. When it comes down to it good quality customer service stems from a "happy" employee that enjoys their job and looks forward to serving others.
There are several areas that leadership must concentrate on in order to provide their employees with the best working conditions possible. This takes hard work on the leadership's part and requires constant dedication to the employee, who in turn will provide excellent customer service.
Ways of improving customer/citizen services:
- Create a good work environment by instilling pride and fairness.
- Proper allocation of manpower and resources through restructuring.
- Training and development of employees through class and mentoring programs.
- Implementing community outreach programs which allow employees to engage citizens in areas of service and not just law enforcement needs.
Are you confident that your fundamental rights are a priority?
The balance of freedom and safety are equally important to all people. Every law-abiding citizens constitutional rights should be protected, including the 2nd amendment. My responsibility as Sheriff will be to ensure that every law-abiding citizen retains their rights afforded them by the constitution and that laws broken by non law-abiding citizens are enforced.
Community Alliance Program
There are many positive benefits to having contacts within the community that seek to work together for a common purpose. Several incidents across the nation involving officer involved shootings and other use of force incidents where death occurred has put a spotlight on the reason it is important to build community relationships. These relationships should be built over time and should not be reactive to a given situation. The community should have a relationship of trust in place with its law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies should build partnerships within the community to allow for better communication, understanding, and education of everyone's needs.
I would implement a Community Alliance Program. This program would consist of 10 church leaders, from across the county that are willing to be advocates for their community. A common denominator within the community is the church. Any leader wishing to serve a commitment of one year would submit an application to participate in the program. After the members are selected they would be required to ride with a deputy at least twice within the year. They would also be required to complete a citizen awareness training program which would be a scenario based training that puts these individuals in a deputy's shoes for the type situations they face.
I along with other Sheriff's Office staff would meet quarterly with these individuals to discuss, learn, and develop areas where the Sheriff's Office can gain efforts in serving their respective communities. Ideas that were agreed upon could be implemented to have a greater impact within those communities. These meetings would also allow these individuals to discuss their ideas and options with each other so that they may be able to implement them within their respective communities.
These individuals would be a liaison between their respective communities and the Sheriff's Office during any critical incident situation where their services would be effective. It is important to note that this program is not a citizen advisory committee to sit in and have input on disciplinary actions and procedures. A law enforcement officer’s job is unique and these decisions should be based on how another reasonable officer would respond. Also this is not a chaplain program. It would in no way replace or take over the chaplain program.