City of Aiken wins excellence award

June 9, 2014

The South Carolina Community Development Association awarded the City of Aiken with its 2014 Award of Excellence, honoring Aiken’s Safe Communities Approach to reduce violent crimes.

The Award of Excellence recognizes community development projects that have significantly improved the community and served as catalysts for further improvements to the area’s quality of life.

Aiken Public Safety’s Safe Communities Approach is a long-term process to develop community partnerships and relationships to reduce violent crime in the city, according to a press release. Statewide and local law enforcement agencies work together under the Joint Law Enforcement Task Force and the Aiken Safe Communities Action Team with volunteer citizens to identify violent offenders in the community and get those offenders the services and assistance to reduce repeat offenses.

The violent crime reduction strategy uses focused deterrence of crime by identifying individuals with the propensity to commit violent offenses, according to Public Safety.Based on an analysis of known violent offenders living in the community, those individuals are notified in a public forum that any further violent offenses will result in swift apprehension, rapid prosecution, and lengthy prison terms upon conviction.To date, the Aiken Department of Public Safety has held four offender notification sessions and placed more than 50 offenders on notice. Once notified, the offenders are offered an opportunity to interact with various community organizations and seek assistance in changing their violent lifestyles. These services include educational assistance, job training and counseling.

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