Keel hopes to gain credibility for public safety department
Fri, 30 May 2008 18:16:54 GMT —
After months of scandal and negativity surrounding the public safety department, a new leader hopes to bring credibility back to agency.
It TMs a tough job, but Mark Keel has a plan.
One trooper used his cruiser to hit a running suspect in April 2007 at the Columbia Gardens apartment complex.
Dash cam video shows the trooper darting through buildings and a playground.
You also see residents and their children trying to get out of harms way.
In contrast to that video, the community is now relatively quiet but its residents say they do not trust law enforcement. They say acts of racism and extreme violence have led to a lack of confidence.
And I see it happen and he run straight through here he didn't ask the boy to stop and he run over there and then bopping the boy and he went down," said Michael Anderson.
Anderson remembers too well the day he stopped trusting authority.
He doesn't feel safe with his niece outside and he wants that to change. Anderson says he'd like to give troopers a chance to re-gain his trust, I mean I think the public's confidence has certainly been shaken.
State lawmakers and Governor Mark Sanford are putting their trust in one man.
The Senate is expected to confirm Mark Keel, the public safety department's new leader.
"It's going to be a challenge I know that," says Keel.
Keel says seeing the trooper tapes left him shaken and disappointed.
In this day and time when everyone is trying to make racial relations better, there is just no excuse for that type of behavior, says Keel.
Keel is ready to enforce a zero-tolerance policy in the future.
He says the department has lost credibility but says the tapes going public was a good thing.
"I TMm glad that they were on camera because if they weren't would we be able to fix the problem or would we have ever known that there was a problem, Keel says. "I think the reputation can be repaired and that TMs my job and I TMm going to see to it that it happens."
Back at Columbia Gardens, Michael Anderson is encouraged, "I feel great we might have some justice right about now if he can step in and do the right thing. For himself and for everybody, we might have some justice."