RCSO takes leadership training course to build relationship with - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

RCSO takes leadership training course to build relationship with community

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"Most police snap on you," said Timothy Tankersaey. "They have attitudes, and when you're walking they just stop you for nothing."

Tankersaey says it's not their presence on the streets, it's their performance. He says he feels safe seeing deputies frequently patrol his neighborhood, but their relationship with the community is not good.

 "That's the only thing I want to see changed in them: their attitudes; the way they treat people," Tankersaey said.

The way they treat people is exactly what the Richmond County Sheriff's Office wants to improve.

In a four-day seminar managers within the department are taking a leadership training course. Directed by Former director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Academy Bill Westfall, he says the lecture's focus is on "strength and courage to do one's duty, and compassion and sensitivity in all of your relationships."

"Some people need to be confined, and some other people need to be, if you will, hugged," Westfall said. "We're not sometimes very good at that, but we need to do that; our community wants that from us."

The group is learning how to develop leadership skills within their managing roles. Those skills will help build a stronger relationship with their deputies; who can then build stronger relationships throughout Richmond County neighborhoods; a push for community policing.

"I think any time that you improve the leadership of a department of a public safety agency, you'll see everything go from the top down with the officers, and you'll see a better interaction with the officers and the public," said Patrick Clayton, RCSO Deputy Chief Deputy.

Westfall says it may take months, even years before the community sees a change within RSCO, but he says their relationships with those they protect and serve will gradually get better.


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