2018-02-09 / Front Page

RCSD first to add PEACE OFFICER to marked patrol vehicles

Contributed by RCSD


Deputy Jason Cuzzupe, Lieutenant Christopher Duke, Sheriff Leon Lott, Deputy Christopher Mastrianni, and K9 Specialist Emily Lemmond stand beside a marked patrol vehicle with PEACE OFFICER on it. This is a first of its kind. Deputy Jason Cuzzupe, Lieutenant Christopher Duke, Sheriff Leon Lott, Deputy Christopher Mastrianni, and K9 Specialist Emily Lemmond stand beside a marked patrol vehicle with PEACE OFFICER on it. This is a first of its kind. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is the first sheriff’s department in the country to add the words “Peace Officer” to its entire fleet of marked patrol vehicles.

The groundbreaking initiative, led by Police2 Peace, aims to create better interactions between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

“This change could set the standard for law enforcement around the country by proving that including the words “Peace Officer” on our vehicles can shift public perception,” said Lott. “We’re thrilled to be the first department of our kind to be involved in this cutting edge research.”

An independent research collaboration of NYU and UCLA called BetaGov will study the decal change and its impact on the community and deputies.

Researchers will look for changes in community complaints and commendations. They will also conduct surveys with the deputies and the community.

“We are extremely excited to be conducting this study,” said Dr. Angela Hawken, the founder and director of BetaGov. “Because of the size of the fleet of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, verifiable results can readily be obtained.”

The department’s participation in the Police2Peace program adding the words “Peace Officer” to the agency’s fleet and the study on its impact, will come at no cost to the department.

“It’s a powerful moment in history to be a part of this initiative and research,” said Lisa Broderick, executive director of Police2Peace. “We look forward to Sheriff Lott and his department further examining how the power of words can highlight common ground between law enforcement and communities across America.”

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