Our community programs are designed to address crime issues and promote community interaction. Read more about all our programs below.

For more information on any of these programs, please call us at 803-436-2700.

Neighborhood Watch Road Sign

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch emphasizes neighbors knowing neighbors as the first line of defense in crime prevention. Participants receive training on effective reporting techniques and proactive measures that reduce opportunity for criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Organized watch groups receive timely updates and helpful tips to increase personal and home safety.

Sumter Police Officer handing a little kid halloween candy

Back to School Bash

Our annual Back to School Bash serves to energize and excite students about a new year of learning. Officers and staff look forward to interacting with youngsters in a fun-filled morning at a local park. It also gives students and parents an opportunity to meet and learn about local public service and public safety organizations.

National Night Out Handing Sign

National Night Out

Each October, the Sumter Police Department and the City of Sumter join with cities across the country to celebrate National Night Out. The event highlights the importance of knowing your neighbors and the value of police/community partnerships. Neighborhoods throughout the city plan outdoor events, such as ice cream socials, cookouts and flashlight walks. Officers from the department visit each event to meet residents and share crime prevention information.

Project Checkmate

Project Checkmate gives senior adults the opportunity to have personal interaction with law enforcement, providing these seniors and their families with an added sense of protection and security. Assigned officers make regular home visits to seniors who opt into the program, where they:

  • Spend time speaking with the participant
  • Update emergency contact information
  • Conduct security surveys and make recommendations for improved safety
  • Makes referrals to other agencies as needed
  • Provides minor services like changing smoke detector batteries or small repairs

The program has been recognized by both Municipal Association of South Carolina and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Association.

To refer a senior adult, contact the Community Services Unit at 803-774-1672 or 803-436-2723.

Project CheckMate Squad SUV
Image of a police car packed with new toys

Cram-a-Cruiser

Cram-A-Cruiser helps to ensure that every child in Sumter can have a toy for Christmas. Officers park a vehicle at Walmart and other local businesses on Saturdays leading up to Christmas to collect toys to be distributed locally by the Salvation Army.

Sumter Police Officer playing in arcade with a kid

Black History Art/Essay Contest

This contest is one of several ways the Sumter Police Department gets involved with local schools to instill a positive image of police among local youngsters. Each year, students are encouraged to submit art or essays, depending on their grade, about famous African Americans they admire. 40 youngsters are named winners in the contest and are treated to pizza and games at Chuck E Cheese. Officers join in on the fun.

Sumter Police Officer handing out halloween candy

Halloween Trunk or Treat

In partnership area public safety agencies, the Sumter Police Department hosts Trunk or Treat to provide a safe option for parents and their trick or treaters on Halloween night. The event, along with safety tips, is publicized through local media and the department’s social media sites.

City of Sumter Police Department sign

National Police Week

The Sumter Police Department hosts events during National Police Week in May to recognize those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The week kicks off with a golf tournament and ends with The Cpl. Chuck Nesbitt Memorial Blood Drive honoring one of our own who was killed in car crash while on duty. Money raised in these events help fund Sumter Crime Stoppers.

Small child donating to food drive

Pursuit to End Hunger

Pursuit to End Hunger is held every year prior to Thanksgiving to help fill the shelves of local food banks. Residents are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items the day of the event, or other times at designated locations.

Two images of police officers working with kids

School and Community Mentoring

The Sumter Police Department recognizes the importance of building positive relationships with youth in our community. Through a partnership with the Sumter School District, the department’s elementary school mentoring program offers officers and children the opportunity to interact regularly. Reading programs, lunch buddies, field days and character recognition ceremonies are several ways officers promote education, healthy peer relationships and self-esteem. Officers also interact positively with youth outside of the school setting while on patrol.

Image of Youth Corps members lifting a large log

Youth Corps

A summer program for 14-and-15-year-olds from low and moderate-income households provides participants the opportunity to earn money, build self-esteem, and develop a work ethic.

Held in partnership with the City, Youth Corps’ work week begins on Mondays with classroom sessions to inspire, encourage, and mentor.  Tuesday through Thursday, participants help spruce up city parks and other properties. Fridays are reserved for fun, yet educational, field trips.

School Resource and other officers with the department are assigned to supervise participants as they learn work skills, develop responsibility, and gain leadership experience.