A Letter from the Chief of Police of Surfside Beach
As the Chief of Police, I am honored to speak of the dedication and courage of the men and women of the Surfside Beach Police Department. Having started my career in law enforcement here in 1996, I have seen many changes at SBPD as the nature of law enforcement has changed. One thing that has not changed is the commitment to keeping Surfside Beach the “Family Beach,” and keeping ours the safest community on the Grand Strand. In order to help our community understand the things we do, we must publish the mission of the Surfside Beach Police Department:
The mission of the Surfside Beach Police Department is to administer and enforce all laws in a fair, impartial, and professional manner and to adopt a neighborhood and community-oriented policing philosophy through various programs and strategies with the objective of serving, protecting, and positively impacting the quality of life of all the citizens of Surfside Beach.
Writing a mission statement is the easy part for any police leader. Demonstrating a commitment to the mission through daily acts of service, protecting the community, ensuring a positive quality of life and fair, impartial law enforcement is the challenge. So how do we get the job done and maintain the lowest violent crime and property crime rates in the area? It’s quite simple. First, we engage our community through community-oriented programs such as the Citizen’s Police Academy and Coffee with a Cop to establish the foundation for a partnership with our community stakeholders. Then, through a cooperative and transparent relationship with our community and a supportive Town Council that places a priority on public safety, we maintain a well-stated police department. SBPD maintains a police force of 21 full-time police officers, 3 part-time police officers, and a staff of 6 communications officers that are cross-trained as local corrections officers. The last and equally important component of our approach is to empower our police officers to do their difficult job and know that the community, Town leaders, and the police department’s command staff have their back.
The response I get most often when I talk about our staffing is; “21 cops in a two square mile town?” I proudly respond that our staffing levels allow us to provide our community with a 4-minute average response time, mission-oriented police officers who refuse to say, “sorry there’s nothing I can do,” and pro-active police patrol to attempt to detect and deter crime before it happens. We place a strong emphasis on quality of life issues, and encourage our citizens to notify us of concerns no matter how small or inconsequential they may seem. While enforcing parking ordinances, maintaining strict traffic enforcement, and answering noise complaints might seem minor compared to our response to burglaries and violent crime, all are part of a comprehensive approach to maintaining the safest, most family-friendly community with the highest quality of life possible.
As your Chief of Police, I hope we are meeting your expectations!