By HEATHER RUPPE
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office has created a new position that the agency’s leadership says will help enhance communication efforts between residents and law enforcement officers.
A Community Relations Officer position will work with the entire county and all of its communities, planning events in those communities that bring officers to the people.
“The role of a community relations officer is to work hand-in-hand with Public Information to coordinate activities and build positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement. The position addresses areas of concern within our communities,” said Chief Deputy Gean Johnson, with the Sheriff’s Office.
The new role has been filled by Cpl. James Brown, a seasoned deputy from within the Sheriff’s Office.
“One of our main reasons for appointing him to this position is his ability to effectively interact with people of all demographics, which is crucial in building relationships and mending the gap between citizens and law enforcement,” said Johnson.
Brown is from Padgetts, a community near the Town of Williams. The father of two has been married to his wife, Jakema, for 17 years. Brown began his law enforcement career in 1997 when he joined the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy. In 2014, he transitioned into a full-time role with the agency.
“I love helping the public in every capacity,” he said. “Strong relationships of mutual trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities we serve are critical to maintaining public safety and effective policing.
“My goal is to continue our efforts of being transparent and accountable, taking steps to reduce bias and improve cultural awareness, collaborate with local community leaders, and be visible in the community,” said Brown. “It takes law enforcement and citizens working together to make a better, safer Colleton.”
Already, this new Community Relations Officer will be participating in the National Night Out event.
In his new role, Brown will also be scheduling Coffee with a Cop drop-ins throughout the community, a time when residents can speak with officers in a casual environment.
More events within the county will be planned throughout the rest of the year. Please follow the Colleton Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @ccsocares and sign-up for a Nextdoor account to receive automatic alerts for information on future events.