NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — The Department of Justice’s COPS program announced it will begin a two year review of NCPD. The evaluation by the Department of Justice is voluntary and about a month ago, the North Charleston Police Department requested the review.
Chief Noble Wray with the Department of Justice says, “It is not a short term solution for serious deficiencies, but rather a long term strategy that first identifies issues with an agency that may affect public trust, and then offer specific recommendations based on a comprehensive assessment for how to resolve those issues and how to enhance relationships between the department and the community they serve.”
The DOJ says they will speak to officers, administration, and the community to have a complete objective review of the department to improve accountability and the relationship between police and the public.
One North Charleston resident, Alyssa Zapiski, says, “I think they need it. Not necessarily all of them,but it’s a good thing to have in place.”
Another resident, David Garrett says, “They need to be reviewed on things and make sure it’s all right and investigated.”
Dell Amerson, who lives in North Charleston, says, “You don’t want to be scared when you’re being pulled over by the police that are here to protect you, so we need to eliminate the fear.”
The DOJ will look at North Charleston’s policies and practices and throughout the two year review will release multiple reports with suggestions to improve.
Chief Wray says, “All made public. All open for scrutiny to the public so they can watch this process and make sure accountability is taking place at the local level.”
The evaluation will cost roughly $300,000-$600,000, paid for by the DOJ.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says, “We know that there will be costs at the end, not in the planning stage, but at the end there will be costs to implement. We are willing to sit down and work those things so that it becomes a reality once we get the concepts and ideas.”
The North Charleston NAACP says this is a good step, but it’s not enough.
President of the North Charleston NAACP, Ed Bryant III, says, “We welcome COPS coming in the police department doing what they want to do, making relations with the community, and this city, and this state, and this town, but at the same time it doesn’t have any teeth in it.”
North Charleston will be the 11th city to participate in this collaborative reform initiative. The DOJ says usually the common theme in every department is issues with accountability.