New Ellenton appoints consultant to tackle police problems

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- Two weeks ago, a News 12 investigation shed light on New Ellenton Police Department. We asked if the police department is doing enough? Are friendships and relations getting in the way of crime-fighting? Is Chief Alesia Parks being a leader?

"I can tell the people of New Ellenton that the New Ellenton Police Department is doing its job. We take our job seriously," said Chief Parks at the time.

But while some say the department should disband, the city isn't surrendering.

"There is going to be more accountability," says Roger LeDuc.

Former Aiken City Manager LeDuc now has his work cut out for him. The New Ellenton mayor has brought LeDuc in as a temporary consultant.

"We need to let the community know that if they're perceiving there's an issue or if there's a problem, then we need to deal with that," he says. "We need to be open. We need to be transparent, and we need to resolve to meet the needs of the community."

LeDuc says some people in New Ellenton say they're used to empty promises, but this time, he says that's not what they'll get. He plans to help council set goals, and it's his job to make sure they're met. Even though he says there's no plans to fire the chief, he says he'll hold her feet to the fire to make sure she accomplishes the goals council sets.

"Up until this time, she has given some good direction. I believe there's some disconnect between what's expected of her and the department," he says.

LeDuc says once the goals are set, the chief and her staff will be evaluated regularly, and he says all of it will be put down on paper, so they don't forget their goals. He says, in his opinion, the department doesn't have any major issues, but he says many concerns are present.

News 12 reached out to multiple council members. Most did not want to comment, but Mayor Vernon Dunbar and Councilman Terence Williams both promise change, and they say it starts with LeDuc.

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