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CPD officer recognized during city council meeting

Posted: October 10, 2013 5:13 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Tyrell “Rock” Coleman grew up in Camden, graduated from Camden High School and has worked for some time as a Camden Police Department (CPD) officer. Tuesday, City Manager Mel Pearson took advantage of the passage of a proclamation naming October as Crime Prevention Month to recognize Coleman on his recent promotion to sergeant and his new responsibilities as supervisor of the city’s school resource officers (SROs).

After council unanimously approved the proclamation, Pearson asked Coleman to accept it on behalf of the CPD with Chief Joe Floyd standing by his side.

“It is a pleasure tonight to have Tyrell Coleman here to listen to and receive this proclamation on behalf of a very good police department,” Pearson said. “This is the first I’ve had the opportunity to acknowledge (his) promotion. I’d like to thank him publicly for assuming the responsibility for our school resource officer program. Three officers in our city schools report to Tyrell. It is appropriate that he has that responsibility because of his tie with the community. He has been our C.O.P.S. officer -- Community Oriented Policing (Service) -- for a number of years and helped us out on the streets to gather grant information for the Village Renaissance grant. In doing that, he’s been part of getting a million and a half dollars in grants to improve the sewers, streets and sidewalks and we have some of that going on right now down on Lyttleton Street.

“I could say a lot more about Tyrell, but I think that’s it. Thank you for you all you do, congratulations with your new position as sergeant. The responsibility that you share with your officers, including Chief Floyd, Capt. (Mike) Stone and (Lt.) Herbie Fraser and the rest of the police force is quite a responsibility. There’s a lot going on in schools and your influence there is extremely important.”

Mayor Tony Scully then read the proclamation which stated that:

• the vitality of the city depends on how safe residents keep their homes, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and communities;

• crime and fear of crime destroys trust in others and in civic institutions, threatening the community’s health, prosperity and quality of life;

• people of all ages must be made aware of what they can do to prevent themselves and their families, neighbors and co-workers from being harmed by crime;

• the personal injury, financial loss and community deterioration resulting from crime are intolerable and require investment from the whole community;

• crime prevention initiatives must include self protection and security, but they must go beyond these to promote collaborative efforts to make neighborhoods safer for all ages and to develop positive opportunities for young people;

• adults must invest time, resources and policy support in effective prevention and intervention strategies for youth, and adults must make sure to engage teens in programs to drive crime from their communities; and

• effective crime prevention programs succeed because of partnerships with law enforcement, other government agencies, civic groups, schools, faith communities, businesses and individuals as they help to nurture communal responsibility and instill pride.

By proclaiming October as Crime Prevention Month, Scully urged “all citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, and businesses to invest in the power of prevention and work together to make the city of Camden a safer, strong, more caring community.”

Among the other five proclamations declared Tuesday, one -- added to the agenda a day before the meeting -- recognized that a civil rights bus ride through South Carolina will stop in Camden today. Mary Elizabeth Van Horn and DeWayne Gary of the Mullikin Law Firm accepted the proclamation from Mayor Scully. The proclamation recognizes Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Public Policy (LPP) program which is sponsoring today’s ride. Northeastern University is located in Boston, Mass.; its LPP program is “an interdisciplinary public policy program that prepares students for careers in government, nonprofit and legal organizations, and research,” according to its website. The doctoral program “provides a comprehensive view of the policy making process and its outcomes.”

Tuesday’s proclamation noted that the civil rights ride through the state, including Camden, will allow participants to “learn firsthand about events that shape our state, region and nation” and that the stop in Camden will be hosted by Northeastern University at the Mullikin Law Firm. Attorney Tom Mullikin is Northeastern University’s LPP professor.

Other proclamations Tuesday included:

• Oct. 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week;

• Oct. 17-20 as Antiques Week in conjunction with the upcoming Camden Antiques Fair; and

• October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The city also unanimously approved three resolutions. The first supports Eat Smart Move More Kershaw County’s proposed bicycle, pedestrian and greenways plan. The second and third resolutions are both tied to the purchase of four police units, two work pickup trucks and one used rear load sanitation truck.

The first of the two resolutions approved the actual lease purchase of the vehicles through First Citizens Bank while the second declared the city’s intention to reimburse itself for the purchases through the debt incurred by the agreement First Citizens.

At Councilman Willard Polk’s request, Pearson explained why both resolutions were necessary. Pearson noted that the financing package had been presented to council at its previous meeting, but with TD Bank listed as the institution to award the bid.

“We chose that bank because of their interest rate. There was a three-year savings because of the lower rate (1.107 percent). As we got into the negotiations about their contract to close the deal out, there were some issues that I believe could not be resolved,” Pearson said, adding that the legal expense in negotiating with TD Bank “quickly consumed the difference -- the three-year savings that we might have gained by financing with the original bank.”

He said South Carolina state law allows Camden to choose from one of the other three banks who bid on the lease purchase agreement. Pearson said staff moved down the list to the second-lowest bidder, First Citizens with a 1.13 percent three-year rate on the $300,000 lease purchase package.

“The second resolution is that the money that we’re borrowing is actually going to refund they city. We will spend that money, and have spent money, out of reserves because of the timing issues we had to deal with,” Pearson said.

Council is next scheduled to meet in a work session at 4 p.m. Oct. 22, followed by a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

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