West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall has a lot of responsibility, and he is very clear about it.
“My job is to keep the citizens of West Columbia safe,” said Tyndall. “To do that I have to hire the appropriate people and provide them the resources for our officers to do their jobs.”
Mayor Bobby Horton said Tyndall does well with his assignment.
“Dennis is an asset to the City of West Columbia, said Horton. “We have a top-notch police department, and I credit him for that. He’s liked and respected. We’re very pleased that he is our police chief.”
The West Columbia Police Department serves a community of almost 17,500 residents as well as many others who travel through the city daily. Tyndall said his department is committed to providing the highest level of professionalism and service. Tyndall also said in recent years, the WCPD has enhanced its basic patrol and investigative functions including Victim Services, Community Policing, Codes Enforcement, and Riverwalk Park Security.
At the Backhoe Rodeo
To accomplish the goals, Tyndall said there is a process.
“We have to train our officers to get them confident and able to make good decisions on their own,” Tyndall said, “and to serve the community well.”
Aside from preparing his staff, there is more.
“My biggest challenge, my most-common challenge, is to make sure we have the resources to do the job, now and in the future,” said Tyndall. To begin with, that means procuring a full staff of officers.
“We work to have a short response time for the citizens in our community,” said Tyndall.
He said it takes about a year to get a new officer on board and ready to go, from the time a brand new officer is hired. There is a challenge after the hire is made too, according to Tyndall.
“We need to make sure we retain and keep the staff that we have,” said Tyndall. “So it’s also important to compensate West Columbia Police officers so they don’t leave for another agency as soon as we get them trained. Once we get them, we’ve got to keep them.”
Tyndall said managing a police department can have its complexities.
Tyndall with media.
“When the shift officers are answering calls, we have special assignments,” said Tyndall. For those special assignments, the police department has a Community Action Team.
“There may be speeding in a neighborhood. Someone may call about a suspected drug house, or there may be a rash of break-ins,” said Tyndall. The Community Action Team is called in for those situations, to get rid of the illegal activity.
To fight crime, Tyndall said his department uses the top technology.
Tyndall said his department procured a $300,000 grant for a state-of-the-are license plate reader system that immediately identifies stolen vehicles, and catches other irregularities with tags.
“Technology-wise, we’re ahead of the curve,” said Tyndall. West Columbia also uses tasers, computer stations in patrol cars and it has a full 24-7 911 dispatch center.
“We’re second to none,” said Tyndall. “We’re one of the best. I’m proud of our officers and our force.” And the high-level of the department has not gone unnoticed. “We are recognized nationally as one of the Top 50 most innovative departments,” said Tyndall. That designation came from Harvard University’s Ash Institute. The department has also received awards that include: the Municipal Achievement Award, and the Alltel Crime Prevention Award.
Another source of pride is the West Columbia Police Officers Foundation.
It was established in 2008 and is governed by a group of private citizens. The foundation is a fundraising entity with the goal to provide for needs that the department or officers may have that the budget cannot provide. Established as a 501 (c) 3 charitable non-profit organization, the foundation has purchased equipment, assisted employees who have suffered life threatening illnesses, and one officer who lost everything in a residential fire. To find out more about the foundation, contact Assistant Chief Scott Morrison at 803.939.3187.
The City of West Columbia is proud of its personnel. And Police Chief Dennis Tyndall is an example of the level of quality that the city offers.
Full story: http://westmetronews.net/west-columbia-police-chief-dennis-tyndall-says-safety-top-priority/