With public opinion shaped by what’s on television, new Netflix police show features Richland County (SC) Peace Officers solving crimes and changing lives.
Who we see on police television shows might make some of us think that the work cops do is all about action, adventure and adrenaline; but the reality of police work is much different. (1) Having premiered May 10, the new Netflix show “Missing: Dead or Alive?” features officers from the Richland County (SC) Sheriff’s Department as they urgently search for individuals who’ve disappeared under troubling circumstances. What is different, is that these officers are doing their work as “Peace Officers”.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) under the leadership of Sheriff Leon Lott was the first department in the nation to earn the designation “Peace Officer” where every deputy and even the Sheriff are seen by the community as Peace Officers. Having garnered national attention many times over the years, RCSD pioneered the ‘Peace Officer’ program in 2018 with decals on vehicles and again in 2020 with ‘Peace Officer’ patches on uniforms. In 2021, Sheriff Leon Lott was named National Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriff’s Association.
Police serving as Peace Officers shouldn’t surprise anyone, says the 501 (c)(3) organization Police2Peace. Its national ‘Peace Officer’ training platform is currently used by departments and police personnel around the nation to help them learn policing as Peace Officers. Police and sheriff’s departments which complete the requirements of training earn a recognition signifying they are, “Peace Officer Certified”.
“Peace Officers is how we serve the community,” said Sheriff Lott. “Whether it’s apprehending a suspect or solving life and death cases, we do it as Peace Officers.”
The Peace Officer training and certification program is novel in policing because it takes a whole-of-department approach to changing police culture. This includes who police departments recruit, hire and promote, as well as their mission, vision and values. It sets expectations for officers to be guardians in their communities serving as ‘Peace Officers’ where the policing they engage in is effective, empathetic and just. And its elected officials, community leaders and police union modules help those groups understand their vital role in advancing the transformation of the law enforcement officers to Peace Officer culture.
“Our goal is to make police as Peace Officers the national model for policing so communities feel protected and know that the police are working every day for the health and safety of their citizens,” said Lisa Broderick, Executive Director of Police2Peace. “With this new national training platform, the country is on its way to having this be a reality.”
National attention is already being focused on the program. Called “Peace Officer: Realizing the True Purpose of Policing” was awarded the National Certification Program Seal of Excellence by IADLEST, a national association of law enforcement standards and training managers and leaders whose primary focus is criminal justice standards and training.
“Through this virtual training platform every policing agency in the nation can receive the same training and certification as our deputies in the Netflix show, which results in policing that’s effective, empathetic and just,” added Sheriff Lott.
Police2Peace sees this new training and certification as a simple, nationally scalable way to change the approach and culture of policing for all police departments. For media inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 888 P2P 9856. www.police2peace.org