BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) -The Bennettsville Police Department is making major changes and the police chief says those changes will not only better serve the community, but they'll also keep his officers safe.
New logos on the Bennettsville police cruisers, new uniforms for the officers, and a new attitude for the department mean the small law enforcement office is setting itself apart from other municipalities and it's getting some attention from the community.
"I think highly of the Bennettsville Police Department and I noticed the change in the vehicles and you can distinguish them because their old vehicles, they looked a lot like the sheriff's department," explains Bennettsville resident Edmund Garner. "So this is a new look and I think it's a positive impact for the community of Bennettsville."
Bennettsville Police Chief Kevin Miller says the changes are not just cosmetic but it's more of an attitude change. The previous patrol cars carried the Bennettsville town logo, mirroring the sheriff's department and public works vehicles.
New uniforms are also a part of the Bennettsville police upgrades. Chief Miller says the new uniforms will allow officers to operate more efficiently in any situation.
"You never know what kind of situation you will be getting into," explains Chief Miller. "Looking for suspects, missing people, and going through the woods and walking distances. You want a uniform that allows these officers to maximize their use."
The new identity for the department includes a newly designed patch that will be placed on each uniform.
In addition to the physical changes, the department has also made personnel changes. On May 22, a promotion ceremony was held for the advancement of several officers.
- Greg Williams was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police
- 1 SGT. Jessie Rogers was promoted to Administrative Lieutenant
- Ira Dease was promoted to Patrol Sergeant
- Shawn Lucas was promoted to Training/Traffic Sergeant
- Teddy Brigman was promoted to Patrol Sergeant
- De'Aron Smith was promoted to Patrol Sergeant
- Ofc, Melvin Dease was promoted to SRO Corporal
- Katrina Brigman was promoted to Patrol Corporal
- Marcus Shaw was promoted to Patrol Corporal
- Derrick McQueen was promoted to Patrol Corporal
- Kel Hall was promoted to Investigator
- Elaine German was promoted to Investigator
The new uniforms are expected to arrive and be implemented within the next two the three weeks.