Tuesday, March 30, 2010

North Charleston Police Department Receives National Accreditation

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 the City of North Charleston Police Department was awarded National Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A) during the organization’s annual spring conference in Dallas, Texas.

Chief Jon R. Zumalt, along with members of his staff appeared before the commission to complete the reaccreditation process. The accreditation program requires the Police Department to comply with 446 state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policies and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. North Charleston Police Department received initial accreditation in 2007.

During the re-accreditation process, members of the commission praised the Police department for its commitment to completing the extensive process; and strengthening community relations while at the same time reducing crime.

National Accreditation strengthens crime prevention and control capabilities; formalizes essential management procedures; establishes fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices; improves service delivery; solidifies interagency cooperation and coordination; and increases community and staff confidence in the agency.

Chief Jon Zumalt said, “This is a proud moment for the employees of our agency and citizens of North Charleston. It proves that we are making tremendous strides in building trust with our citizens while at the same time implementing crime reduction strategies. If citizens trust law enforcement they will work with us, and this is what we work at everyday developing trust in the community.

Mayor Keith Summey said, “This is a defining moment not only for the hard working men and women of the police department, but for our entire City and residents. “Receiving national accreditation ensures our citizens that they are receiving the best public safety service from a professional agency.”

Friday, March 26, 2010

Citizens Receive Award for Kidnapped Infant’s Safe Return

Today, the FBI along with the North Charleston Police Department, presented checks in the amount of $10,000.00 each to two citizens responsible for the identification and apprehension of 19 year old Andrea Samone Walker, in the kidnapping of a one month old infant outside of a North Charleston post office.

Walker is accused of kidnapping one month old Angel Perez from his mother’s vehicle while parked outside of the US Post Office on Rivers Avenue, Monday, November 23, 2009. Investigators determined that at some point on November 23rd Walker visually observed the victim and her infant child. It then appears that Walker began following the victim. When the victim arrived at the post office, Walker saw the victim enter the post office without the child. Walker then entered the victim’s vehicle, removed the child from a car seat and fled the area with the child.

During the investigation police received numerous calls and information from the public regarding the abduction and possible sighting of the suspect and infant victim. Two citizens were able to provide investigators with specific information identifying the suspect and missing child. Acting on those tips officers located one month old Angel Miguel Perez at a residence in Summerville. The infant was found unharmed and later reunited with his parents.

The citizens receiving the reward, who wish to remain anonymous, sated they did what they hope everyone would do cooperate with police. Both said they were glad that the infant was able to be reunited with his parents.

FBI Special Agent Paul Fravel said, “We are proud of the two for coming forward and their help in bringing this situation to a happy resolution.” Chief Jon Zumalt said, “This speaks to the issue of trust. If our citizens trust law enforcement they will work with us, and this is what we work at everyday developing trust in the community. I am proud of the two them.”

The money came from the FBI’s reward Program.

Monday, March 22, 2010

North Charleston launches redesigned city website and encourages greater public participation

Today, North Charleston launched its redesigned official city website, http://www.northcharleston.org. The site features a more intuitive structure, expanded city information, and greater free online tools for residents, businesses, and visitors.

With a strong emphasis in social media, the newly redesigned website aggregates information from various websites and displays it conveniently in a central location. A visitor to the site can now view the latest YouTube video, Flickr photos, Tweets, blog posts, and upcoming events from the homepage.

With the emergence of social media in government, the City of North Charleston is encouraging active participation from its citizens and businesses. By including the social media element and adding new information daily, NorthCharleston.org is never static. Mayor R. Keith Summey stated, “We have found that social media grants a dialogue in a form than was not previously possible. Government once only dispersed information online. Now we are able to provide a more vibrant array of information in a more efficient manner, and receive public participation from anyone with an internet connection.”

Mayor Summey continued, “The tools that can be utilized on the internet are amazing. Someone in Europe can watch our City Council meetings live from their mobile phone using technologies that are free to the City. If there is a traffic accident on Ashley Phosphate Road, it is possible to post a message on Twitter, and instantly alert the public to find an alternate route. In these tough economic times, it is important to be good stewards to our tax payers. We are proud to increase the amount of information we send out using free online tools.”

Along with the redesigned website, the City is building a public online library of archived agendas, items, and minutes from past meetings utilizing Google Docs. The library can be viewed here. The expenditures to date for the online library total $5.00 for 20 gigabytes of storage from Google.

The City of North Charleston also offers an online citizen support center at http://www.mygovhelp.org/northcharlestonsc/. This service allows citizens to find frequently asked questions, report problems or complaints, and pose questions, all of which are routed directly to city staff.

The website was designed and is hosted by VC3 of Columbia, SC. VC3 has been on the leading edge of Information Technology since 1994, providing a full range of IT services to both the private and public sectors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. VC3 was named one of South Carolina's Fastest-Growing Companies in 2007 and again in 2008. VC3 is also a member of the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management (CESM) and will be involved in managing the day-to-day operation of the CESM Data Center.

The following are popular social media sites actively used by the City of North Charleston:

Twitter, micro-blogging - http://twitter.com/northcharleston
Blogger, blogging - http://cityofnorthcharleston.blogspot.com
YouTube, videos - http://www.youtube.com/northcharlestonsc
Facebook, social networking - http://www.facebook.com/northcharleston
Flickr, photos - http://www.flickr.com/northcharleston
UStream, live video streaming - http://www.ustream.tv/northcharleston

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are you JOY?

The City of North Charleston invites “JOY” (“Just Older Youth”) to participate in our active programming, tailored to encourage an active lifestyle, healthy living, and promote fellowship. The City’s menu of activities, now expanded through partnerships with local businesses, satisfies a variety of interest and creates excitement for each senior. If you are interested in taking part, contact Senior Coordinator Belinda Swindler at (843) 745-1028 or via email at belindaswindler@yahoo.com.

Senior Line Dancing
Felix Davis Community Center
Every Monday
Beginner Class – 9:00 am
Intermediate Class – Immediately following

“Jolly Friends” Bingo
Felix Davis Community Center
Every Wednesday
1:00 pm

Senior Tennis
Danny Jones Sports Complex
Every Monday through Friday
8:00 am
Weather permitting

Senior Bowling League
Sandpiper Bowling Lanes on
Ashley Phosphate Rd
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Practice begins – 9:00 am
League Bowling begins – 9:30 am
League and Recreational bowling is offered

Felix Davis Community Center
Every Tuesday and Thursday
10:30 am – 11:15 am
A low aerobics class

Senior Yoga
Felix Davis Community Center
Every Wednesday
5:30 pm

Senior Golfing
The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation
Every Tuesday
8:00 am
Prizes and refreshments are provided

Senior Water Aerobics
2070 Northbrook Boulevard
Every Monday through Thursday
Contact Premier Physical Therapy for more information
at (843) 797-5167

In an effort to encourage walking we invite “JOY” to walk historic Park Circle. Join the “Walk the Circle Club” by completing a registration form at the desk in the Felix Davis Community Center. Throughout the year, the number of laps walked is recorded and special recognition is given to accomplished walkers.

Other activities available for “JOY” include ceramics, contra dancing, disc golf, quilting and square dancing.

Seniors are invited to join the North Charleston Spring Bocce League. For more information and registration, join us on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Felix Davis Community Center.

For more senior activities information,offered by the City of North Charleston, contact Senior Coordinator Belinda Swindler at (843) 745-1028 or via email at belindaswindler@yahoo.com.