Policing has never been an easy job, but in recent years, with civil unrest erupting after highly publicized officer-involved shootings, building and maintaining trust is more important than ever.
That’s why Greenville Police Chief Howie Thompson believes the city police department must focus on strengthening community relationships and partnerships to help fulfill its two main focuses: promoting safety and preventing crimes.
The police department established its Neighborhood Engagement Team in 2021 to build relationships and work with different communities in Greenville. The program was included in the Greenville Police Department Strategic Plan, released in 2021, which outlines the department’s goals for the following five years.
Through the initiative, a team of officers is assigned to a specific neighborhood zone and partners with its residents and businesses to forecast any issues to help prevent crimes in the area. The program also allows NET officers to work with partner law enforcement agencies on community policing efforts.
Another initiative the police department is currently working on is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program designed to deter potential offenders from committing a crime, reduce firearm violence and prevent youth involvement in gangs.
In order to effectively serve and protect the Greenville community, Thompson said it’s important to have well-trained officers who know the area and its residents.
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