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Published on January 31st, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Sheriff Leon Lott Adds the Words “PEACE OFFICER” to RCSD Patrol Vehicles

Richland County Sheriff’s Department Subject of Groundbreaking Initiative Police2Peace

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is the first Sheriff’s Department in the country to add the words “Peace Officer” to its entire fleet of marked patrol vehicles. Sheriff Leon Lott unveiled the first-of-its-kind law enforcement vehicles recently.

The groundbreaking initiative, led by Police2Peace, aims to create better interactions between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. “This change could set the standard for law enforcement around the country by proving that including the words “Peace Officer” on our vehicles can shift public perception,” said Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott. “We’re thrilled to be the first Department of our kind to be involved in this cutting edge research.”

An independent research collaboration of NYU and UCLA called BetaGov will study the decal change and its impact on the community and deputies. Researchers will look for changes in community complaints and commendations. They will also conduct surveys with the deputies and the community.

“We are extremely excited to be conducting this study”, said Dr. Angela Hawken, the founder and director of BetaGov. “Because of the size of the fleet of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, verifiable results can readily be obtained”.

The Sheriff’s Department’s participation in the Police2Peace program adding the words “Peace Officer” to the agency’s fleet and the study on its impact, will come at no cost to the Department.

“It’s a powerful moment in history to be a part of this initiative and research”, said Lisa Broderick, Executive Director of Police2Peace. “We look forward to Sheriff Lott and his Department further examining how the power of words can highlight common ground between law enforcement and communities across America.”

Action Team

Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County South Carolina

Leon Lott is the Sheriff of Richland County, South Carolina. Sheriff Lott came to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in 1975 as a patrol officer. In 1996, he made a successful run for Sheriff of Richland County. Upon taking office, Sheriff Lott turned the direction of the Department to Community Oriented Policing. The success that the Department has had in the community since that time can be measured by the civic and community oriented boards and committees that have asked for Sheriff Lott’s participation.

Angela Hawken, Ph.D., Director BetaGov

Angela Hawken, Ph.D., is the founder and director of BetaGov. Her team facilitates over 200 randomized controlled trials across the United States, working closely with practitioners to identify areas for policy and practice improvement, and giving practitioners a central role so that research is done with them, not to them.

Lisa Broderick, Executive Director, Police2Peace

The founder of Police2Peace, Lisa is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive for over 30 years. As Managing Partner of New York-based Conversus Group for the last 16 years, she built a consulting firm which helps early stage companies and professionals become better-organized, properly financed, and able to monetize their talent while maximizing opportunities.

About Police2Peace

Police2Peace is an innovative national initiative. The organization simply adds or replaces the term, “Police Officer” with “PEACE OFFICER” on existing squad cars in municipalities across the country. Police2Peace seeks to facilitate healthier and more productive interactions between communities and law enforcement.

About BetaGov

BetaGov and Police2Peace are collaborating on several initiatives, including placing the words PEACE OFFICER on public-safety vehicles in communities in the US. In this collaboration, BetaGov acts as the independent external evaluator of outcomes, and Police2Peace supports the departments with organization, administration and funding of the new decals. This is a highly collaborative initiative where they work closely with the heads of law-enforcement agencies to conduct research that conforms to the highest academic standards.


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