Nephron, Serve & Connect announce launch of community policing app for officers

March 10, 2022 Serve & Connect announce launch of community policing app for officers

Columbia, SC With funding support from Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Serve & Connect announces the development of a community policing portal. The technology will be developed under the guidance of a multidisciplinary workgroup led by South Carolina police officers, community leaders and Serve & Connect, a SC-based nonprofit focused on bringing police and citizens together to address the root causes of crime and promote community safety.

“Law enforcement has our back, and I want them to know that we have theirs,” said Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy. “One way we can show law enforcement just how much we value their work is to equip them – and members of the community – with the tools needed to strengthen the relationship between officers, and the people they protect. Nephron is proud to join Serve and Connect in providing critical new resources to law enforcement for community policing, aimed at improving public safety outcomes. We can and will make the Midlands, as well as the entire state, even safer places to live, work and raise a family.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder and fear of crime.

“Community policing is critical for promoting public trust and safety,” says Dr. Kassy Alia Ray, Serve & Connect’s founder and CEO. “However, there are limited tools available for monitoring use of community policing. We want to be a part of finding resources that support officers when they are in the field so they have modern tools that elevate community policing.”

Alia Ray believes that by investing in technology, law enforcement agencies can have the support needed to monitor their work, as well as support broader understanding of how community policing relates to outcomes related to public safety.

More than a dozen law enforcement leaders and community leaders from across the state will compose a workgroup that will begin developing the initial structure of the community policing monitoring tool. The workgroup will be responsible for providing expertise and guidance to ensure usability, optimal adoption and create value for officers and departments.

The workgroup is chaired by City of Columbia Police Chief William “Skip” Holbrook. “As part of the Columbia Police Department’s 21st Century Policing efforts, we stand on a strong community-oriented policing foundation,” shared Chief Holbrook. “The web-based portal will allow us and partner law enforcement agencies to monitor community connection efforts and gain positive and effective impacts.”  

The plan is for the technology to provide external reporting for transparency and trust-building, as well as support ongoing research and evaluation related to community policing.

In addition to statewide representation, Alia Ray says that national experts will be pulled in as needed. The initial structure of the web-based portal will take place across a 6-month development period with a goal to have a pilot that can be tested at the end of the development period.