Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop – Law Enforcement Outreach Strategies

    Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop – Law Enforcement Outreach Strategies

    Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop – Law Enforcement Outreach Strategies


    The first Creating a Safer Upstate – Beyond the Shield Virtual Workshop of 2022 provided an opportunity for Upstate law enforcement agencies to share some of the ways they engage with their local communities.

    The law enforcement panelists for the session were Chief Matt Hamby from the City of Greer, Chief Sonny Ledda from the City of Clinton, Chief Ben Ford from the City of Travelers Rest, and Lt. Todd Caron from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. The Community Leaders participating in the conversation will be Inez Morris from the West Greenville Neighborhood Association and Patrena Mims, Executive Director of the Bethlehem Center in Spartanburg’s Highland Neighborhood. Jim Shew from Marsh & McLennan and Keishe Nelson from Michelin coordinated the audience questions during the session.

    Coffee with a Cop was a popular activity, along with community meetings, funeral escorts for veterans, and doing “talks” around town for churches and other civic groups. Many agencies offer trainings including active assailant, bus driver active shooter response, active shooter and reunification, and safety trainings for seniors and women. Many Upstate agencies also have citizens academies and do events for kids like trunk or treats, touch a trucks, First Bump Fridays, gun safety, Girls on the Run, summer Camp, and stuff a cruiser to collect school supplies and holidays gifts.

    Ten at the Top will host a virtual event in May with Upstate agencies invited to hear from a National Night Out representative about the benefits of registering events this year, with the hope to have all events on the same day to build energy and awareness around community engagement.

    Questions from the community involved building trust and relationships between law enforcement and communities. Chief Hamby discussed taking advantage of random opportunities to engage while working in neighborhoods, and the efforts law enforcement makes to incorporate community engagement into their work. COP cards (like baseball cards) were mentioned, and decals for drivers with autism. Many agencies receive training from their local disabilities and special needs boards.

    View the slide presentation here, and a recording of the meeting here.

    Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop #3 – Law Enforcement Recruitment, Retention, and Training

    Creating a Safer Upstate Beyond the Shield Workshop #3 – Law Enforcement Recruitment, Retention, and Training

    Creating a Safer Upstate

    November 2, 2021

    Watch a video of the presentation here.


    Chief Matt Hamby, City of Greer

    Chief TJ Chaudoin, City of Greenwood (c:864-992-7304)

    Chief Howie Thompson, City of Greenville

    Community Leaders

    Dr. Toney Parks, Senior Pastor at Mt. Sinai Baptist, and Chaplain to Greenville City Police

    Mayor Terence Roberts, Mayor of Anderson, and Board of Directors Chair of TATT

    Keishe Nelson, Credit Manager at Michelin Community Volunteer

    Challenges to Hiring, Recruiting, Training

    Chief Chaudoin


    • Relying more on communities
    • Focus on minorities
    • It’s a competitive market
    • Develop open dialogue with council persons in each zone
    • Reduce turnover
    • The hiring process takes six months, including:
      • First application
      • Panel interview
      • Psychological evaluation
      • Nelson Denney Test
      • Polygraph
      • Physical
      • Conditional offer
      • Academy
      • PTO training program for 7-8 months

    How have they been recruiting

    • Minority campaigns partnered with Army, Army PAYS program, first black female applicant currently in process, veterans to top of pool
    • Hiring workshops at convention center, with physical agility test
    • Hosted African American men ___org) at range
    • Yard signs in neighborhoods
    • Find Value Be Valued campaign, hired eight with previous experience

    Chief Thompson

    Some of the minimum standards set by state law (an average of 6% of applications received are eligible):

    • At least 21 years old
    • Citizen
    • High School Diploma or equivalent
    • SC driver’s license
    • No driver’s license suspensions
    • No felonies, crimes of moral turpitude
    • Good credit history

    Chief Hamby

    Studies show that 29% of officers leave within first year of being hired nationally. An additional 40% leave the professional within 5 years. 8-20% stay to reach retirement. According to the SC Academy, in five years, 50% of the class is no longer in law enforcement after graduation.

    Creativity is required in retention. Opportunities in Greer are available to:

    • Work toward being detective
    • Become a school resource officer
    • Work toward the K-9 Team or drone team
    • Participate in cross-training,
    • Receive private vendor training
    • Play a role in future planning and be part of a team


    • Greer offers a cash incentive to current officers to recruit – $500 for new hire plus $500 at end of probation period
    • College kids from Citizen’s Academy, from Greenville Tech, North Greenville University, Bob Jones, Anderson, and Furman
      • Develop relationships early, tour, take to lunch, ride alongs

    Community Leader Q&A

    Pastor Parks

    What is the plan to encourage Latinx population?

    Chief Chaudoin

    Become actively involved in the community to build relationships for the future

    Chief Thompson

    Largest growing population in Greenville

    Partnered with Hispanic Alliance job fairs

    Aside-15% of the department is female

    Chief Hamby

    Focusing on all minorities and getting them to apply

    Mayor Roberts

    How can elected officials help with recruiting and retention?

    Chief Chaudoin

    Bring elected officials along into communities

    Focusing on recruiting next generation of hires

    Chief Hamby

    Provide leads of interested parties

    Chief Thompson

    Invite us to speak even to events you might not think are related

    Keishe Nelson

    What training has been implemented to counter tragedies?

    Chief Chaudoin

    Outside agency oversight through national accreditation

    Increase training budget

    Specialize in communication and de-escalation

    Chief Thompson

    Review policies to ensure up to date

    Repetitive training on simulators

    Biased based training

    Chief Hamby

    Emotional intelligence training – entire staff

    Crisis interventional training by NAMI

    What has been learned from open dialogue in communities?

    Chief Chaudoin

    Everyone learns about each other; community understands force, office understands     community concerns

    Chief Thompson

    New NET Team (neighborhood engagement team)

    Goal – promote safety, prevent crime, enhance quality of life, neighborhood led

    Chief Hamby

    Every department relies of community support

    With removing someone’s freedom comes heavy responsibility, so a high level of trust   must be obtained by getting to know each other outside “business” dealings

    Builds trust and understanding