On Monday, February 2nd at 12 p.m., Police Chief Eddie Driggers, Jr. along with State Senator Marlon Kimpson will announce police and community anti-crime initiatives to be implemented as a result of $275,000.00 in state funding awarded to the department. Senator Kimpson authored a proviso in the Senate during last year’s budget debate and the General Assembly voted to include the funding in the State’s 2015 budget. “I think body cameras will go a long way towards exposing criminal behavior and law enforcement officers who break the rules. But the programs we will fund through these initiatives, will foster better relations with law enforcement and members of the community so that there is less crime, while at the same time each will develop a mutual understanding and respect for one another,” said Kimpson.
Over the legislative break, Senator Kimpson met with department representatives, public officials and community members and the following initiatives were selected to receive funding:
Body Cameras – funding will provide 115 body cameras to be used throughout the City of North Charleston.
Cops Athletic League
Cops Athletic League (C.A.P.) will become a key component to steering youths away from a potential life of crime. Through the league, the police and recreation departments involve middle and high school students in various sporting program such as basketball, baseball and powder puff football. But the leagues are not just about sports. Each is designed to ensure that the youth walks away with valuable lessons in conflict resolution, teamwork, relationship building and personal development.
The S.T.A.N.D. (Step Towards A New Direction) program will assist those with a criminal history move forward in their lives through education, employment, family devotion and community involvement. The program involves counseling, mental and physical health, drug counseling, education, employment assistance, community service and reconciliation. Phase I of the one-year program involves completion of several courses of study and counseling in order for participants to advance into the next two phases of the program.
Lethality Assessment Program
Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) is an innovative strategy to prevent domestic violence homicides and serious injuries. It provides an easy and effective method for law enforcement and other community professionals—such as health care providers, clergy members, case workers, and court personnel—to identify victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners, and immediately connect them to the local domestic violence service program.
Citizens Public Safety Academy
The Citizens Public Safety Academy will allow the Police Department along with Fire, Code Enforcement and Building departments bring awareness to the many aspects of public safety; and foster better communication between citizens of North Charleston and public safety professionals. During the 10 week program citizens get an inside look at what Police Officers, Firefighters, Code Enforcement Officers and Building Inspectors encounter on a daily basis. Citizens walk away with the necessary tools for them to become involved within their community in programs such as neighborhood crime watch and crime prevention/awareness.
In addition, funding has also been air marked for the following police initiatives:
- Community Roll Calls
- Youth Court
- North Charleston Police Cadet Program
- Teen Police Academy
- Be Safe, Be Seen Pedestrian Safety Campaign
- Police Recruitment