Citizens Community Relations Advisory Board
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Community Relations Advisory Board was established by Sheriff Anthony Dennis in 2017 and held its first meeting in August of that year. Sheriff Dennis established the board in his ongoing effort to maintain a positive and interactive rapport with the citizens and to increase public confidence that all people in Sumter County have a voice regarding law enforcement and public safety matters in the community.
Citizen questions and concerns, even those unrelated directly to law enforcement, are channeled to the proper authorities either by board members or by sheriff’s office staff.
The board is comprised of twelve (12) voting members and one (1) non-voting student member. All members serve in a volunteer capacity and are chosen from a broad cross-section of the community including: education, military, business and faith-based sectors.
The board holds quarterly meetings but does occasionally hold special called meetings as necessary. Board meetings are held in various locations throughout the county, often in local community centers, to allow for greater ease of participation, particularly by people in rural areas. In addition to discussing law enforcement matters, board members often invite other agencies to share a wide variety of information with attendees. For example, guest speakers have discussed social services, wills and estates, and workforce development opportunities.
In addition to its role in providing outreach across the Sumter County community, the board also serves as a grievance board for Sumter County Sheriff’s Office employees who appeal certain disciplinary actions. The board then has the authority to review records, call witnesses, hold a hearing and make a recommendation on the appeal.
As a result of the board’s outreach, the sheriff has often received information and suggestions that have allowed the sheriff's office to implement improvements to better serve the citizens of Sumter County.