|Patty Jaye Garrett Patterson|
Chief of Police
Sumter, South Carolina, Police Department
Candidate for IACP Vice President at Large
t is indeed a privilege and an honor to be a candidate for the office of vice president at large of the IACP. I joined the IACP after becoming chief of police in 2001 for the city of Sumter, South Carolina. Located in the center of the state, Sumter is a diverse metropolitan area of 34 miles inclusive of Shaw Air Force Base; the 9th Air Force; the U.S. Air Forces Central (USAFCENT); the 20th Fighter Wings; and 3rd U.S. Army Central Headquarters (USARCENT). The department I serve comprises 121 sworn and 61 civilian employees responsible for a telecommunications center that serves all city and county public safety emergency services.
I consider the position of IACP vice president at large an opportunity to be your ambassador of integrity, boldness, good character, and positive attitude. These are all qualities developed during my 32 years in law enforcement. My diverse experience includes service as a criminal court clerk; a juvenile crimes investigator; a criminology instructor for South Carolina’s police academy; a special agent with South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division (SLED); a SLED SWAT team member; a major of operations; a second in command; and, currently, as a chief of police. Throughout my tenure, I have diligently worked to honor, protect, and serve the mission of our profession and remain committed to the credos “attitude is everything” and “leadership is a behavior, not a position.” If afforded this opportunity, I humbly seek to serve you and share your interests, concerns, and enthusiasm about the issues that matter most to you and the agencies you represent. I have a passion to serve, and I believe law enforcement is my called profession.
Since becoming a member of the IACP, I have been exposed to a dynamic international organization comprising consummate professionals dedicated to the advancement of law enforcement and superior training opportunities and who strive to lead our profession to greater heights for the good of those we serve. The IACP is a tapestry interwoven with traditional lawmakers, peacekeepers, and leaders: men and women who represent decades of professional experience, training, leadership skills, and practical wisdom. Our organization and its membership are a positive, collective force and an important source of leadership and guidance for federal, state, and local law enforcement entities. The IACP is crucial to the continuing evolution and prosperity of our profession, especially in these challenging times. The IACP mission is paramount to professional policing.
These are defining moments in which the perspective of policing can be a tragedy or a triumph. I believe the latter is our destiny. In times like these, if we are united, reaching across the globe as one thin, blue line, we become a synergy with which to be reckoned. Thus, as force multipliers, there are infinite possibilities to be realized with heightened strides for policing. The IACP is the chisel, methodical bridge of delivering to each law enforcement entity and its personnel the encouragement, ideals, solutions, and motivation to prosper.
An economy plagued with unemployment, reduction in police forces, and unfunded legislative mandates combined with increased demands for police services severely challenges our efforts to be proactive and provide maximum expectations with limited resources. Yet, collectively, we can work to meet these challenges through intelligence-led policing, shared expertise, experience, and resources that will enhance enforcement, promote prevention, safeguard public welfare, and bolster homeland security. As a mass of one, we can find innovative solutions to promote legislation and maximize our community enforcement of service delivery.
I am committed to service above self and am confident that, if afforded the opportunity to serve as an IACP officer, I will make it my priority to focus on challenges that are relevant to all law enforcement professionals today, including
- violence against law enforcement officers,
- improved ballistic body armor and officer safety,
- intelligence-led policing,
- recruitment and retention,
- diversity in law enforcement,
- mentoring and succession,
- protecting interoperability, and
- bridging the gap for professionalism in policing.
I respectfully submit I possess the experience and qualifications to be an effective and productive vice president at large of the IACP. I have served on the IACP Executive Committee, Classification #31, representing agencies serving populations of 25,000–50,000 and other IACP committees such as the Police Psychological Services Section, the Constitution and Rules Committee, the Use of Force Task Force, the Mental Illness Task Force, and the Smaller Law Enforcement Agency Program, along with state and local boards. I am a past president of the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives. These experiences have afforded me invaluable experience and allowed me to be engaged in the IACP structure, dynamics, and progress. They have also allowed me to forge partnerships with the leaders and members of the IACP throughout the world.
Thank you in advance for your vote of confidence and for this opportunity to serve. I ask you for your continuing support and understanding, seeking your expertise and infinite wisdom. My humble prayer is for you and yours to be blessed and remain safe in all your endeavors. Blessed are the peacemakers, for you are indeed richly blessed.