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Local Organizations Help Create New Criminal Justice Advisory Council

Community leaders meeting with law enforcement officials to help shape criminal justice program.
Spartanburg Methodist College

Members of the faculty and staff within Spartanburg Methodist College’s Online Criminal Justice program recently held the first Leadership Advisory Council meeting with law enforcement directors from across South Carolina.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop a task force dedicated to higher education, public safety officer development and recruitment, heightened community outreach, and to gain advisory support for Spartanburg Methodist College’s (SMC) online criminal justice program. Attendees were able to provide feedback on many of the most important skills needed for student success.

Director of the Online Criminal Justice Program, Angelia Turner, said that she believed that the meeting was productive and that the Advisory Council has “opened the dialogue so that we will gain additional tools to move the online program forward and make it more accessible to adult learners across South Carolina and the southeastern region.” Additionally, according to Turner, “SMC, in collaboration with statewide criminal justice leaders, are committed to enhancing educational opportunities within the broad spectrum of available opportunities.”

Two of the attendees, Chuck Wright, Spartanburg County Sheriff, and Jerry Adger, Director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, thought that the meeting created a way for the community and law enforcement agencies to connect. “I think the colleges and the message that they bring can be huge in trying to mend this gap that seems to be consistent throughout the country between communities and law enforcement,” said Adger.

“When law enforcement’s involved, everyone’s involved,” said Sheriff Wright. “I think law enforcement sometimes only sees our side of an issue, but it’s very important to see all sides. This advisory council is a place where you can have very open discussions.”

Prepared by Katherine Waters / Spartanburg Methodist College.