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Ten at the Top safety committee releases recommendations

Staff Report //November 5, 2020//

Ten at the Top safety committee releases recommendations

Staff Report //November 5, 2020//

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A Ten at the Top committee has made recommendations to improve relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Fifty government, law enforcement and business leaders from across the Upstate convened through Ten at the Top’s Creating a Safer Upstate Discovery Committee four times over the past year. At the final meeting, the group planned to launch a steering committee geared to improve relationships between residents and law enforcement.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark and Stinson Ferguson, special counsel for Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. in Greenville, will chair the new committee.

“While our region has been fortunate not to have seen the violence and social unrest that has occurred in other parts of the country, we do recognize that not every Upstate resident feels safe or trusts our law enforcement officers,” Terence Roberts, chairman of the Ten at the Top Board of Directors and mayor of Anderson, said in a news release. “We felt with the platform already established by Ten at the Top to be a neutral convener, that we had an opportunity to proactively engage stakeholders across the region around the topic of creating a safer region for all residents.”

Roberts first organized the group in the summer to help foster “a culture in the Upstate that respects and values the lives of all officers and residents.”

In the discovery committee’s latest meeting, the group outlined future goals including greater positive engagement between officers and residents, regular meetings between police and community leadership across the Upstate and the implementation of “best practice approaches” to enhance public trust, according to the release.

Suggested steps include appointing diversity, equity and inclusion officers, expanding law enforcement recruitment pools, collaboration between police and neighborhood associations on accruing crime data and educating the public on the work and procedures of officers, such as through the Citizens Police Academy.