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The City of Sumter has received a Municipal Achievement Award for Project CheckMate and Random Acts of Kindess. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's Annual Meeting on July 18. The city won in the public safety category. Twenty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
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 identified around the city. Project CheckMate and Random Acts of Kindness have enhanced the relationship between these target populations and Sumter police. 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," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.