ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety is initiating a partnership with Police 2 Peace, a national organization that aims to build trust within the community. The initiation went into effect during the department's promotion ceremony on Tuesday.
“We have to engage the community that we serve and we have to invite them. It’s not us against them, it’s us together," said Lieutenant Albert Black.
Officers with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety are recommitting themselves to community by taking the pledge to be peace officers. It's an oath reaffirming their commitment to serving and protecting the public.
For Orangeburg resident Amanda Black, fostering this kind of trust is important.
“Especially as an educator, and you see students in the school. They need to understand the importance of having those positive relationships and law enforcement is not always about arresting people or shooting people, but they’re there to solve problems," she said.
Lieutenant Albert Black says community policing is something the department practices regularly.
“We do what we call signal 25 which is engaging the community. We get out with any community members in the neighborhoods. We had a couple events where had community cookouts," said Black.
He also says through the department's Serve and Connect program, it distributes groceries to those experiencing food insecurity in the community. It's a way to make their presence known.
“This department is a very good representation of the community that they serve and so there’s someone in public safety that everyone can connect with on a personal level," said municipal judge Chasity Avinger.