The Travelers Rest Police Department is organized into four main departments: Uniform Patrol, Investigations, Communications, and Records Administration. Each of these sections is assigned specific responsibilities and activities that either directly execute or indirectly support the Police Department, and they work in concert to achieve our overall mission and objectives.
Within these broad categories are several specialized units, such as the School Resource Officer, Canine Unit, Traffic Safety Team, and the Bike Patrol. The command staff, consisting of the chief of police and the captain, are charged with oversight of all Police Department operations.
"The organization of the Travelers Rest Police Department will support the effective and efficient accomplishment of departmental responsibilities and functions. The organization shall be structured as to ensure the existence of a chain of command, within which unity of command and span of control shall be maintained."
TRPD General Order 210.1, Departmental Organization.
Uniformed officers are often the first point of contact a citizen has with a law enforcement agency and are the most visible representatives of local government. Police officers have to be well versed in many diverse disciplines in policing, as it is often their initial actions on a scene that can determine the outcome of any criminal case.
Our officers are organized into three squads, each under the command of one of the patrol team leaders: Sergeant Brad Edwards ("Bravo Team") Corporal James Paris ("Charlie Team"), or Sergeant Ben Sambrano ("Delta Team"). Senior patrol officers serve as shift supervisors when a squad's leader is off-duty. An on call command staff officer is also available 24 hours a day, providing an extra resource for the officers when they encounter more serious or unique calls.
Uniform Patrol includes several specialized units, such as the Canine Unit, Traffic Safety Team, and the School Resource Officer. The entire Patrol Division is under the direction and training of Captain Randy Fisher.
Beyond simply responding to calls for service, the patrol squads are encouraged and trained to be more proactive by identifying the root causes of crime and detractors from the quality of life in Travelers Rest. Working in partnership with the community, they determine what needs to be done to reduce or eliminate the environment that contributes to crime and a decreased quality of life. It's a basic problem solving policing philosophy but we feel that it is the only way that crime will ever truly be reduced.
Captain Fisher and the patrol team leaders can all be reached at 864-834-9029.
Although our uniformed officers are assigned a substantial investigative caseload, our agency has a full-time investigator assigned to all major cases, which often require more time or specialized training to bring to prosecution. In January of 2013 TRPD officer Tim Kelley was promoted to the position of department investigator.
Detective Kelley has over seventeen years of law enforcement experience, with ten years of that as a patrol sergeant and field training officer.
Detective Kelley is responsible for investigating all major cases, such as deaths, robberies, burglaries, and missing persons, as well as prescription fraud, forgery, and other white-collar crimes that typically require lengthy investigations and highly specialized training. He often assists the uniform patrol officers with their caseload by locating and interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects, or simply offering guidance in their investigations. He is also tasked with oversight of the department's evidence storage facility, receiving, cataloging, and disposing of evidence on a daily basis.
Detective Kelley coordinates his investigations with the TRPD patrol officers, Greenville County forensic specialists, the City's prosecuting attorneys, the Solicitor's Office, and our administrative judges to ensure that a case has the best opportunity for a successful prosecution and justice for the victim.
Investigator Kelley may be reached at 864-834-9029.
Our Communications Center is the designated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the City of Travelers Rest. Our center processes all incoming 911 and non-emergency calls for the City of Travelers Rest and dispatches police and public works officers. Fire and Emergency Medical Services units are referred to the Greenville County center.
A professional team of five highly trained communications specialists provides citizens with timely access to emergency services. In 2015 the center handled 10,359 calls into the department, or roughly 28 calls per day.
Though the Travelers Rest Communications Center serves many functions, its two primary services are receiving incoming calls and dispatching emergency units. When a call is received by the center, via 911 or on a non-emergency line, the communications specialist collects the information from the caller and prioritizes the call to be dispatched. The operator then transmits the call to the appropriate police or public works officer, or connects the caller with the appropriate fire or EMS agency.
Equipment in the Communications Center underwent an extensive upgrade in 2007. Featuring the latest technology, this equipment allows our agency to maintain our agency's commitment to efficient, quality service.
Communications Coordinator Lisa Lark can be reached at 864-834-9029.
Believing that a town the size of Travelers Rest is the perfect environment for it, the Police Department instituted a bicycle patrol unit in 2006. The unit was started with two GT Avalanche mountain bikes and equipment purchased primarily from Sunrift Adventures. The money used to start the program came almost exclusively from grants given by the Travelers Rest Wal-Mart.
A police officer on a bike has many advantages over more traditional means of patrol, including increased mobility, higher visibility, and greater accessibility to the public -- all at a fraction of the cost. In many situations, the use of mountain bikes has allowed our officers to respond to situations more effectively, since bicycles can often go where cars are unable to go and more ground can be covered on a bicycle than on foot.
Our bike patrol officers have found that the mere sight of a police officer patrolling on a bicycle draws more attention and fosters interaction between the public and our agency. This benefit alone makes our bike unit an extremely valuable resource for partnering with our community.
Until K-9 Stoki's retirement from duty in January of 2016, Sergeant Bill Farina and Stoki formed the K9 team utilized by our agency. In the very near future, Officer Lance Mello and K9 Patser will be trained as the TRPD's new team.
K9 teams are a very important part of the law enforcement field and have provided a valuable service to our community. We are grateful to have had Sergeant Farina and Stoki serving together, apprehending dangerous criminals and protecting Travelers Rest, and we look forward to implementing another K-9 team in the near future.