U.S. Attorney’s Office, Columbia Police Department, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department Announce Public Service Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon, along with Columbia Police Chief W. H. “Skip” Holbrook and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, announced their latest effort to reduce, prevent, and deter violent gun crimes in the City of Columbia and Richland County.
In the Greenview community of North Columbia, the three law enforcement agencies and community partners unveiled a public service campaign designed to comprehensively reduce violent crime while making a lasting impact. Last year, the United States Department of Justice unveiled Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) 2.0, the centerpiece of the Department’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. The initiative fosters safer neighborhoods through sustained reduction in violent crime, so families, especially children, can thrive in safety and without the fear of crime.
“We did not choose Greenview because it has the worst problem with violence,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon. “We chose it because we believe it is a community that recognizes the need to, and cares enough to, be vigilant about what is going on around you. The people of North Columbia have the right to live in peace, free from chaos and danger. We have a responsibility to make sure that you don’t have to hide in your homes.”
Chief Holbrook said, “We have adopted an intelligence-led, data-driven approach to identifying where the crime is occurring, when it is occurring, and who is most likely responsible. It’s not just putting cops on dots of crime. But putting a face with the dots and tasking the best law enforcement resources possible to bring those offenders to count.” He added, “We need our neighbors to help us. Harden your neighborhoods. Lock your cars, secure your firearms, report suspicious activity. Report all crime. Know your neighbors and, most importantly, know your police officers and deputies.”
Sheriff Lott said, “We’re all in this together. It’s not just a City thing, it’s not a County thing. It’s our thing. This is nothing new for us to come together and work. We’re going to come together and we’re finding more and more ways of coming together to work as one. Just like this Greenview community, it may be in the City of Columbia but it’s also in Richland County. These people who live here know, we will be here too. You will not only see the City cars; you will see the County cars. We listen to you. You tell us what’s going on in your neighborhood.”
One of PSN’s major goals is to implement precision policing, in which law enforcement partners work to identify neighborhoods with a violent crime problem, identify and arrest violent and repeat offenders, then hold them accountable through federal prosecution and federal prison time.
Another part of the PSN initiative is crime prevention. This year, with the financial assistance of Department of Justice grant funds, Columbia and Richland County citizens will start seeing and hearing public service announcements (PSAs) on local television and radio stations, on billboards, and on a Comet bus to drive home the importance of reducing, preventing, and deterring criminal activity.
The overall effort to lower crime cannot be accomplished solely through law enforcement arrests. Partnerships with a heightened emphasis on community engagement can make a lasting impact and pave the way for safer communities.
For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit the following websites:
Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Updated July 26, 2019
Project Safe Neighborhoods