834 Beaufort St NE • Aiken, SC 29801 • 803-642-7620

City of Aiken Safe Communities

The Aiken Safe Communities Initiative is a unified, proactive community approach to engage, educate and encourage recurring offenders to change their behavior and make healthy life choices. Its aim is to reduce high levels of crime and recidivism in our community and provide support for the City of Aiken’s Northside Revitalization.
The challenge that prompted this program was identified after a series of particularly violent crimes within a brief time. While we had seen a slight decrease of serious crime between 2008 and 2012, the number of murders in Aiken spiked from one to seven during this time. Among those murdered were Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson (December 2011) and Master Corporal Sandy Rogers (January 2012). This surge of murders in a City of less than 30,000 warranted an immediate solution with measurable results.
The implementation process included analyzing data and understanding our local community network through communication with law enforcement agencies, resource providers, offenders, and their families. We hosted a delegation from High Point, NC to learn from their 15 years of success using safe communities methods.
Rather than cracking down on a particular geographic area or group, data analyzed without the use of names or other indicators, determines which offenders pose the most immediate safety concern for our community.  The result is an Official Notification with a clear and concise message to recurring offenders from law enforcement and the community that their continued behavior is not acceptable.

Aiken Safe Communities Action Team

The Aiken Safe Communities Action Team (ASCAT) is part of a collaborative effort with Aiken Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies to help promote safe communities in Aiken. Their primary purpose is to bridge the gap between recurring offenders, their families and community service providers. Components include: The CORRE Team, Safe Neighborhoods, Safe Youth/Families and Safe Businesses.


(Citizens Offering Response, Restoration and Education) – Participate with the Notification selection process. Facilitate “Response Walks” in the event of violent crime in a targeted area & identified “hot spots”. Mentor & Assist Notified Participants with accessing job skills training, counseling and other resources. Individual follow-up, as necessary.

Safe Neighborhoods

Northside Revitalization & affordable housing. Organize and facilitate Neighborhood Safety Walks in conjunction with Associations/CrimeWatch groups. Block Blitz/Neighborhood Clean-Up events. Property Code Concerns

Safe Youth/Families

Volunteer and assist with youth/neighborhood/family various outreach events/programs. Education/tutoring/after school/alternative learning needs. Camp volunteers. We connect “Safe Youth” volunteers with the Youth Restoration Alliance which consists of many youth serving organizations in our area. Volunteers complete training and background checks as required by individual organizations.

Safe Businesses

Help communicate the Safe Communities philosophy to local businesses. Compile a directory of potential employers for our target population. Develop relationship with companies and small business that will hire successful Notification participants.

Engaging the Community

Bikes & Books

Aiken Department of Public Safety Officers spend time reading with students at North Aiken Elementary School.  When they’re not reading, they are working on bikes and learning tips to enjoy a safe ride.

FANtastic Saturday (Fishin’Adventure with the Neighborhoods)

Grab your fishin’ buddies and head to Floyd’s Pond for Aiken Department of Public Safety’s version of a Family Day Camp.  There’s fishing, family fun, food and games. Volunteers are also needed.

Mobile Movie Nights

Coming to a neighborhood near you Thursdays in July.  Bring the kids and your lawn chair to enjoy an outdoor movie and family fun.

Citizens Public Safety Academy

Citizens are engaged in a 9 week interactive class facilitated by Aiken Department of Public Safety personnel covering topics such as Basic Patrol Functions, Traffic Safety, Criminal Investigations and more.

Chat with Chief

You’re invited to enjoy lunch and a chat with Aiken Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco about relevant community subjects in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.

Poetry in the Park

Join us at a City park for our spring series featuring local poets and masters of spoken word against a backdrop of easy listening/jazz music.  Bring your lawn chair and enjoy.

Family Night Unplugged

Taking digital detoxes can improve our productivity at work, restore our ability to focus and strengthen our connections with the people we love.

Community Café

Open forum for citizens to network and share information/resources on topics such as Education, Mental Health, Business/Industry and Crime/Safety.

Coffee with a Cop

Meet Aiken Department of Public Safety officers at your local eatery for coffee and conversation. The coffee is on the house!