ORANGEBURG, S.C. — On Tuesday, the Orangeburg Sheriff’s Department delivered groceries to a local apartment complex. It’s a part of an initiative through Serve and Connect, an organization that hopes to build a better relationship between the community and law enforcement. But,it's less about delivering food to those in need than bringing about a change in the Orangeburg community.
Connecting with the community is the message of Sgt. Keith Parks, who tells us more about the event that fed over a hundred residents on Tuesday.
“We partnered with Kassy Alia of Serve and Connect, and she brought in at that time 90 boxes of Greg's groceries, and it was just an awesome atmosphere,” Parks said. “We probably had about 70 to 80 residents, and another 40 to 50 kids, that were in there."
"We really got a chance to hear that community and hear those concerns. So often, we go in and a lot of people think it’s about making an arrest," Parks told us. "But Sheriff Ravenell thoroughly believes that in order to police a community, you have to understand the problems of that community.”
Parks says he grew up on the south side of Chicago in an environment similar to that of some of the kids in the Oranegburg community, and that’s part of the reason why he enjoys giving back. “I love the kids and to be able to connect with them and share my story and show them that this may be your temporary situation, but this doesn’t have to be your forever.”
The department is hoping to continue to bridge that gap with more events like this ahead in the coming months.