City of Orangeburg Forms Department of Public Safety Citizens’ Advisory Committee

The City of Orangeburg is in the process of forming a Department of Public Safety Citizen Advisory Group that would serve as an internal and external review body to ensure that DPS policies and practices are fairly implemented.

The 10-member Citizens’ Public Safety Advisory Committee (CAP) would be “composed of independent citizens of good character and good judgment” that would serve as an advisory body to the city’s Department of Public Safety, according to the ordinance. creating the committee.

“The purpose of the council is to work with the DPS to resolve all internal and external issues that are brought to the attention of the Citizen Advisory Committee,” Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said. “It grew out of previous incidents we had and it was suggested that we have this advisory board.”

On Tuesday, the Council gave its unanimous first-reading approval to the ordinance providing for the advisory committee. The sign would be placed in the city’s code of ordinances if approved after three readings.

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There was no public debate before the vote. City officials note that the CAP ordinance could change by the third and final reading.

According to the order, the CAP would be in place to receive and consider any issues raised by a sworn DPS employee or city citizen.

Chief Charles Austin, director of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, gives part of the department’s 20 points.

The CAP would be responsible for reviewing and addressing internal issues related to DPS policy or practices relating to employee concerns. The CAP would not be responsible for processing annual employee reviews, job assignments or compensation.

The panel would also consider external issues relating to a citizen complaint about a DPS policy that is not being adequately addressed by the DPS.

Only the CAP can also investigate a DPS policy provided that it informs the managing director in writing of its intention to do so. has a new special: $1 for 26 weeks

At the end of the investigation, the CAP will submit its findings to the person filing the complaint with a copy to the city administrator and the city attorney.

The CAP will be composed of seven voting members and three non-voting members.

Each PAC member would be nominated by a council member based on that council member’s district.

Each voting member will serve for four years, except for the appointment of five of the initial voting members. Those initial voting members will serve for two years, according to the order.

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Each voting member will be at least 21 years old and must live in the city. Members cannot be related to a sworn police officer or council member, according to the order.

The ordinance then specifies that a non-voting member must be at least 16 years old and be a high school student. This member would serve until the first of a year of appointment or graduation from high school.

Another non-voting member would be a sworn employee of the police department and another would be a sworn employee of the fire department.

Each member of the DPS would serve until the first of one year from an appointment or the member is no longer a sworn employee of the department, according to the order.

Each non-voting member with DPS will be required to have at least five years of continuous experience with the department and cannot be at the rank of lieutenant or higher.

Each member of the CAP would be required to participate in at least one ride with a police officer and undergo training in the department’s use of force simulator during the first three months of their appointment.

Within six months of being appointed, each CAP member is expected to complete the police department’s citizen training academy, according to the order.

A member who does not complete the required training would be removed from the CAP, according to the order.

CAP members will not be paid, according to the order.

The CAP as a body would meet at least six times a year.

  • The Council unanimously passed a resolution to accept the $857,075 U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Rural Health Care Grant used to help the city recover the costs and wear and tear of the fire and emergency management system equipment during COVID. The council also gave city administrator Evering the power to execute the agreement.

Specifically, the city has already purchased three fire trucks totaling $2,425,413. The grant will reimburse the city for 35% of the cost.

The grant will also cover 35% of the cost of the city purchasing defibrillators for the city’s office buildings and technology for three fire stations.

USDA Rural Development Representative Nickie Toomes introduced the resolution.

The grant money comes from the US bailout, signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021.

  • The Board gave a unanimous second reading to changes to natural gas rates for new industrial customers of the Orangeburg Utilities Department effective December 1, 2022.

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The changes will only affect new industrial customers and will not increase current industrial rates.

  • The Board unanimously approved the appointments of Michelle Corbett, Finance; Latoya Walker, public works; James Seal, Parks and Recreation to the City Employee Grievance Committee. Olivia Singletary has been named alternate.
  • The Board recognized the 31 years of service of Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities employee Richard Wayne Stack. Stack retired on October 28.
  • The council recognized Courage as the Orangeburg County Character Community Character Trait for the month of November and encouraged town residents to practice the trait during the month.
  • Council met in camera to discuss the performance evaluation of the municipal administrator.
  • The next City Council meeting scheduled for November 15 will be held in City Council Chambers on Middleton Street. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. The board has been meeting at City Gym on Broughton Street for two years during COVID.