Advancing the police profession and public safety – School of Law | #schoolsaftey

This fall, the legislature appropriated $10 million to the School of Law for the creation
of the Excellence in Policing and Public Safety (EPPS) program to increase training
opportunities for rising leaders in law enforcement and support data-driven, effective,
and equitable public safety throughout the state.

Here’s the deal 

Public safety demands have changed dramatically over the last few years, creating new and unprecedented challenges for law enforcement and the communities
they serve. Police are called upon to address a host of inherently complex social
issues, yet professional development, especially for command staff, is limited or
inaccessible. There is also
a lack of sufficient research on the efficacy of existing programs. 

A new direction 

Over the next 18 months, the EPPS Program’s Command Staff Professional Development
Initiative will task students with reflecting on exemplary leadership principles,
researching evidence-based crime prevention strategies, developing best practices
for internal and external communication, and more. This initiative is a radical departure
from traditional police training methods, prioritizing scenario-based training, incorporating
research from a variety of disciplines, and emphasizing peer-to-peer learning that
encourages participants to connect with fellow experts in the field.  

In addition to training, the EPPS Program conducts research to better inform policy
makers about the state of policing in South Carolina, including what resources are
available and how they are allocated. They have already begun assessing current training
offerings, including their own, and have plans to supplement the annual Law Enforcement
Census with geographic heat maps assessing officer deployment, authorized agency size,
population served, and crime rate.

The players 

Professor Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and nationally recognized expert
on policing issues, serves as the faculty director of the EPPS Program.

The inaugural cohort consists of sixteen students, representing a diverse range of
police executives, including chiefs and mid-career leaders, and a variety of department
sizes and regions within South Carolina. These candidates were nominated by their
agencies and selected through a competitive process based on their backgrounds, skills,
and perspectives to address the state’s most pressing law enforcement concerns.

As a publicly funded program, highly regarded members of the South Carolina community
were identified for the Advisory Board, including police and public safety professionals,
elected officials, researchers, educators, and community advocates.

What they’re saying 

“Our goal is to advance the police profession and improve public safety outcomes,”
Stoughton says. “If this works the way we think it can, and the way we want it to,
the EPPS Program will establish the law school – and the university as a whole – as
a leader in driving what policing could and should look like in this country.”

Learn more about EPPS. 

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