State association protects public, law enforcement - FOX Carolina 21

State association protects public, law enforcement

Posted: Updated: May 16, 2012 11:19 AM
A SCSA membership bumper sticker. (File/FOX Carolina) A SCSA membership bumper sticker. (File/FOX Carolina)

Some South Carolina residents have the association's decals on their bumpers, some receive donation letters in the mail, but what does the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association do for the state?

FOX Carolina went to Columbia to find out what the group does. The SCSA works on issues beyond legislation related to the criminal justice system. From regulating the tow truck industry to the Amber Alert program, the SCSA says it is making a difference throughout the state.

Executive Director Jeff Moore said the SCSA develops public policy for children at risk, trains officers on detention and prosecution of drunk drivers, offers advanced education like a "criminal interrogation course" and gives law enforcement a voice in the Statehouse.

The SCSA helped write and implement the copper theft prevention laws that put permitting into place. Beyond a law's passage, the SCSA helps officers adjust to and process legislation.

"They gave us a resource where if we did have a question about how the law was worded or what certain portions of the legislation meant, they were able to provide us with training and info about how the law was to work," said Lt. Michael Hildebrand with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.

Advocating for criminal justice issues, shaping public policy and providing critical training to law enforcement shaped the work of the sheriffs' association, which operates on the theory that public safety is the foundation of everything else in a civil society.

The SCSA reacts to problems law enforcement faces as they develop. Right now, the association is working to develop a church safety program so church officials can better respond to safety threats in their places of worship.

Additionally, Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis will serve as next year's SCSA president, with his term beginning in January 2013.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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