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Press Release

Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Partner with the Community to Launch Greenville Safe Neighborhoods

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with the Greenville Police Department, along with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon Services, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and New Mind Health and Care, Inc., in a local, state, and federal violence reduction initiative, a collaboration dubbed, “Greenville Safe Neighborhoods.”  The first meeting with the stakeholders, partners, as well as the first eight participating individuals, all of whom are currently on state probation, was held on Monday evening (March 27).

Greenville Safe Neighborhoods is a unified, proactive police and community collaboration that engages, educates and empowers repeat serious offenders to obtain assistance, change behavior, make healthy life choices or suffer consequences of unified police/prosecutorial focus and priority.  Predicated on the work of Professor David M. Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, this focused-deterrence model aligns intervention and prosecutorial resources to create an appropriate mix of legal and ethical pressure to change offender behavior, reduce recidivism and severity, and reduce victimization.  The Greenville Police Department has been working with its core partners for several months in planning, developing and resourcing the pilot program. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office serves as a partner in similar iterations across the state, to include Aiken Safe Communities, Hartsville Safe Communities, Ceasefire Columbia, and most recently, Home Front--the focused-deterrence model focusing on domestic violence in Spartanburg County.

The Greenville Safe Neighborhoods initiative identifies participants based upon their present and past criminal conduct.  Participants attend a meeting with local, state and federal law enforcement officials and prosecutors as well as with service providers, family and affected community members.  In the meeting, participants have meaningful access to a host of services or contacts to help them address physical or psychological needs. 

GPD Chief Ken Miller, who anchored the first meeting on Monday evening, brought the program’s core partners together to make this initiative a reality.  “The Greenville Police Department is committed to working with our community and our program participants and stakeholders to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.”

During the meeting, the participants observed the unified commitment to this effort between law enforcement and the community.  The goal the stakeholders hope to achieve is engaging a participant to address his or her needs, make meaningful strides, and avoid re-offending, thereby making the Greenville community safer.  Also underscored during the meeting--the commitment between all levels of law enforcement and prosecution.  Should a participant disregard this opportunity and re-offend, new offenses will be identified in “real time” and they will be brought to justice swiftly--in state court or federal court.

Solicitor Walt Wilkins has dedicated prosecutors to this effort and will be working closely with federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  “We are excited about this partnership and the promise that Greenville Safe Neighborhoods holds for effective communication between the community and local, state, and federal law enforcement.”

U.S. Attorney Drake thanked Chief Miller, Solicitor Wilkins, and the other agencies for their leadership and for bringing the stakeholders together. “These young South Carolinians have some important choices to make in terms of changing their path in life.  The resources and community commitment are there.”


Updated March 30, 2017

Project Safe Neighborhoods