Bettering Saluda’s police force

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2018

Department to meet with commissioners, residents for suggestions

SALUDA — The Saluda Police Department has set up a workshop to discuss the agency with the mayor and commissioners.

The workshop is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the Saluda Library.

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The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from Police Chief Charles Conner and Sgt. John Rickman.

Rickman, who was recently sworn in as a sergeant, said the department would like to come up with a plan to spend more time at the school, and is also reworking its business contacts because they have changed.

“We’re going to try to set up meetings with citizens to get their input and complaints,” Rickman said.

Those meetings will also include business owners to tell the department what they like about what officers are doing and what they do not like, Rickman said. 

He said officers would like to speak with the mayor and commissioners to get their input on what they have seen and heard, which will be helpful for the department to make changes.

“You hear things we don’t,” Rickman said. “We hear things you don’t.

“We’d like to make up some kind of group with commissioners, the town manager, business owners and people from the community.”

The group would be established to have someone outside of the police department for people to file a grievance if they have one or to give a pat on the back, Rickman said. He said it would be better to have an independent group, in case people do not want to make a complaint directly to the police department.

Saluda commissioners will hold a public hearing and special meeting at 6 p.m. Friday,  Aug. 24, regarding setting up collections of the city’s occupancy tax. That public hearing and special meeting will occur directly after the workshop with the police department at 5:30 p.m.

Commissioners also congratulated Rickman on Monday for his role as sergeant.