The Big Job of Small-Town Policing
ATLANTIC BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES, December 10, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) presents the Atlantic Beach, South Carolina Police Department its prestigious award as Agency of the Year for 2019. Brent Kelly, law enforcement liaison of the SCDPS states, “a three-member selection panel reviews the nominations of agencies within five categories ranging in size. Atlantic Beach was selected for the award within category one, which is an agency with one to ten officers.” This coveted selection launches the Atlantic Beach Police Department into the spotlight among all 46 South Carolina counties. Many with much larger police departments and municipalities vying for this distinction.
Chief Quentin Robinson attended South Carolina State University as a civil and electrical engineering major. He received his Class III and Class I certifications in 2012 and 2016 respectively, from the South Carolina Police Academy. His career in law enforcement began working in the Florence County Detention Center. As an officer with responsibility for 30-60 inmates he astutely learned how to de-escalate problems. Robinson shared, “my experiences there taught me that everyone must be dealt with respectfully and that communication is your most powerful tool.” His next move was to the Sheriff’s department where he transported inmates to and from the detention center. There he learned the importance of protocol. Now, with six years in the Atlantic Beach Police Department and more than two years as Chief of Police, under his guidance the department continues to improve and garner several additional awards.
The Sportsman Motorcycle Club bestowed its “Outstanding Service” award for the department’s participation in their “I Can’t Breathe Ride”. The Atlantic Beach police force escorted the motorcyclists during their July 25, 2020 solidarity ride after months of protests condemning police brutality. Most recently Chief Robinson’s department was awarded the “Silver Level Law Enforcement Target Zero Challenge for 2019” by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Network. This is the second consecutive year his department received this award. It is bestowed in recognition of documented enforcement of impaired driving detection, safety belt and child passenger safety laws, speed laws, non-arrest and citation traffic stops as well as officer training efforts.
One reason these achievements are so notable is because the police department as well as the town itself has done a complete 180-degree turnaround. After years of negative media attention attributed to alleged and actual misconduct in the town there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Chief Robinson and the police department’s accomplishments are a reflection of that resurrection. Between 2018 and 2019, Atlantic Beach can tout an impressive 18% reduction in breaking and entering of automobiles, down to 9 from 11 occurrences; an 8% reduction in stolen automobiles, from 13 to 12; a 64% reduction in all-points bulletins down to 6 from 34; a 61% reduction in public disorderly conduct occurrences, from 49 down to 19 and a whopping 501% increase in homeowner requested property checks from 89 to 535.
Robinson upgraded the town’s fleet. He began with one car – a gold, Crown Victoria with over 200,000 miles and an engine light that stayed on. Robinson jokingly added, “it could barely get to 60 miles per hour. Back then you might call the police, but they might not get there.” Now the town owns a reliable fleet that includes two, low-mileage Tahoes and two Impalas. Every officer has a vehicle. He increased the number of full-time officers and instituted several new programs and policies aimed at providing peace of mind and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors to Atlantic Beach. One such policy is the Nightclub Ordinance approved by the town’s council in November 2020. Another new program particularly popular with the residents is the Vacation Watch List. Atlantic Beach is a four-block, cultural and historic vacation destination for tourists, right in the middle of North Myrtle Beach. It’s an oasis known for its beautiful, pristine and uncrowded beach. Many of the town’s property owners are away from their homes for extended periods. His department checks and secures the homes of the residents who request it while they are away.
When asked how his department came to be recognized for their superior police work, modestly Chief Robinson gave all the accolades to his staff; Lieutenant Matthew Cox, officers Marquis Dargan and Andrew Valentine and clerk Kim Munjas. “They are on the front line. My mantra is to respect everyone and apply the rules to everyone equally ⏤ all races, genders, age and religions. Not to harass, not to judge. My goal is to make the Atlantic Beach South Carolina Police Department one of the best in the country and to compete with any other agency around. To make Atlantic Beach a place where everyone – feels safe, wants to live or visit, and knows they have the support of the police department.”
# # #
Town of Atlantic Beach South Carolina
email us here