Sumter officials initiated two unique projects tied together by a common theme: compassionate outreach to the community’s neediest residents. Project CheckMate commits one police officer to regularly visit the homes of the elderly and disadvantaged adults, while Random Acts of Kindness provides the city’s homeless and transient population with care packages. These packages contain hygiene products, as well as contact information for various service organizations.
Both programs meet the needs that police officers had identified around the city and ensure that all Sumter residents are able to live with dignity despite their social or economic status. Project CheckMate and Random Acts of Kindness have enhanced the relationship between these target populations and Sumter police. For example, officers are helping seniors with tasks like taking out their trash or replacing batteries in fire detectors. Area homeless are grateful to have the necessities that other charities often overlook, as well as the knowledge of where to go for additional help.
The police department’s budget absorbed the minimal start-up cost for Project CheckMate and Random Acts of Kindness. Both programs are now fully funded through the generosity of private partners.
These two projects have encouraged a new level of trust between officers and the community. The number of seniors participating in Project CheckMate has doubled. By addressing the needs of its most vulnerable populations, Sumter has shown a continued commitment to the quality of life for all who call it home.
Contact Shelley Kile at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.774.1661.