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Ever wonder why some Police Chiefs or Sheriffs are more successful than their counterparts? I am willing to bet one of the reasons for their success is their ability to develop, cultivate and sustain positive relationship, both within the community and within the agencies they lead.
I believe so many senior law enforcement executives are lost to this. Either they don’t care, or they don’t believe its important enough to pay attention to.
On to the show with Sheriff Leon Lott. Sheriff Lott is the Sheriff of Richland County Sheriffs Office, which is one of the largest sheriff’s department in the Southeastern United States, and is often seen on the very successful law enforcement show, LIVE PD.
Sheriff Lott lot has been the Sheriff of Richland County SO for 20 years. He is obviously doing something right and we dig into that, along with important topics, on this great interview.
A little more information on Sheriff Lott.
Sheriff Lott is a 43-year law enforcement officer who has served as the Richland County Sheriff for more than 20 years.
In January 2018, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) became the first sheriff’s office in the country to conduct research on the impact of adding the words “PEACE OFFICER” to its fleet of 600-plus marked patrol vehicles. The success of this first-ever PEACE OFFICER identity initiative is now measurable.
Simple Cost-Effective Program Demonstrates Change is Possible
As part of a charitable initiative operated by the nonprofit Police2Peace, the RCSD study commenced in January 2018. The randomized controlled trial collected data from RCSD’s eight regions, which had the wording “PEACE OFFICER” placed on certain patrol vehicles and not on others. Data was collected through surveys of RCSD deputies, employees, and the citizens living and working within the county’s various communities. The objective was to gauge the impact on citizens seeing, and officers driving vehicles, displaying “PEACE OFFICER” decals.
In other areas surveyed, the designation did not appear on patrol vehicles. Following the six-month study period, PEACE OFFICER decals were then placed on all vehicles surveyed during the research project. Among community members surveyed since Jan. 2018, nearly 90% “strongly agreed” that the community “is generally very supportive” of RCSD. More than 75% of those within the community who had seen the decals “strongly agreed that “the community is generally safe” as opposed to 55% who did not see the decals. When the question was posed,
“Do you think people can change?” Nearly 90% who saw the decals “strongly agreed” as opposed to about 65% who did not see the decals.
Sheriff Leon Lott, Leading the Pilot Program
“We do so much more than simply enforce the law,” says Sherriff Lott. “We do enforce the law to be sure, but peace officer is a more accurate description of who we are and what we do. We are keeping the peace. We’re building strong relationships. And we’re educating the citizens we serve how to best to safeguard themselves from all threats. With the words PEACE OFFICER on our cars, we are getting people to talk about what a peace officer really is. We are changing perceptions and we are redefining what we do and what being a peace officer means to us individually and as a department.”
So many great takeaways and thank you Sheriff Lott for your years of dedicated service.
Find Sheriff Lott here: