Let's work together on crime prevention

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By The Staff

As sheriff of Lancaster County, I would like to discuss an issue very close to each of us - crime prevention. My office is committed to making our neighborhoods safer places to live.

By doing so, we will improve the quality of life for individuals and families, both young and old. It is imperative that we seek progress to reduce the negative influences that crime has on our children and to help safeguard the elderly.

In the past year, this office has worked extremely hard to make significant improvements in our county. Through community-based programs and an emphasis on professionalism, we hope to reduce the number of gun-related crimes, thefts, incidents of domestic violence and other disturbances. An example of our plans and objectives includes:

n Provide officers with the resources necessary to improve preparedness and response capabilities.

n Promote the importance of neighborhood watch programs.

n Continue our initiatives in specialized technical training and the latest crime prevention measures.

n Protection of our senior citizens from acts of violence, neglect and fraud.

n Increased drug awareness through educational programs and services that will give individuals a fighting change to lead more productive lives.

n We hope to see fewer incidents of spousal and child abuse by further developing opportunities for law enforcement to work more closely with shelters and local organizations to provide counseling and support.

n Maintain our goal to improve our correctional facilities, incorporating the latest security measures for the purpose of removing more criminals from the streets.

n Integrate special rehabilitation programs that aim to help criminals by preparing them to become productive members of society.

n Implementing productive activities that help children by redirecting them from illegal activity. This can be accomplished by providing relevant and enjoyable programs to occupy their time and attention. These are the type of efforts that can provide positive influences to enable our youth to become responsible citizens.

I personally want to thank all of you for supporting the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office and for the support of these initiatives - those in place now as well as those in keeping with our objectives.

In addition, I would like to share another unique initiative with you, the S.C. Sheriff's Association's Honorary Membership Program, supported by citizens committed to making our communities a safer place to live.

This important program enables citizens to make a real difference toward the aforementioned objectives. The honorary membership program is based on the premise that both citizens and law enforcement officers can collaborate to have a direct impact in our communities. Through membership, citizens can help in a very practical way.

I invite businesses and individuals alike to support our efforts by becoming members. Through your participation in this program, we can continue to provide the resources necessary to make a difference.

Anyone interested in knowing more about this very important program can call (803) 772-1101 or write to: 112 Westpark Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210.

I strongly urge the residents of Lancaster County to consider participating in this honorable program - not only for its monetary support of law enforcement, but also for the moral support that unites us in building a safer community.

John W. Cauthen is Lancaster County sheriff.