Kiahnna Patterson - HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) - Hartsville Police Department's new Community Outreach Division is connecting well with the community. One of the Community Officers was invited to share strategies with other Police Departments in the state.
The Police Departments Community Outreach Division was launched in February and just nine months later they are considered a successful division for other departments in the state.
Community Outreach Officer, Jaye Gullet shared a presentation at the Project Safe Neighborhoods, Vocal De- Escalation and Deterrence strategies for Law Enforcement conference in Lexington, South Carolina.
Her presentation was about the Safe Communities program. The program helps nine notified offenders turn their lives around. The Hartsville Safe Communities program currently has two ex-offenders enrolled at Florence Darlington Technical College and one person received a commercial driver's license. None of the participants have been involved in any crimes since the intake ceremony in July.
The Safe Communities program is just one program officers use to bridge the gap between community and police.
Officers visit schools daily to strengthen relationships with young children.
Officer Gullet says earning trust and love from children is a sign that the department is moving in the right direction.
"To have a child run to you as a police officer, as opposed to, from you as a police officer is a success within itself," Officer Gullett explained.
Officer Gullett says she loves coming to work each day because her job is a matter of the heart. She is committed to going the extra mile to show people. Hartsville police are just there to help.
Officers also greet new businesses or areas that have an uptick in crime—to let residents know they are only a call away.
Lt. Tenyonde Richardson, Hartsville Police Community Lieutenant said, "The light is shining in police in a negative way. If we can get to the community and let them know that we're not all bad."
Lt. Richardson says the division is not looking for recognition. His goal each morning is to help people and steer them in the right direction.
The Hartsville Community Outreach Safe Communities program is reviewing new offenders to create a new batch for the Safe Communities program. Count on news13 to follow this story.
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