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Pine Ridge’s new police chief sworn in, ready to protect and serve

Pine Ridge, SC (Paul Kirby) – On December 10, 2019, the Town of Pine Ridge held a ceremony to swear in their new chief of police. They had been using Chief Neeley as a part-time, interim chief who also worked with the SC National Guard. He was doing a great job, but felt the people of Pine Ridge deserved the attention that a progressive, full-time chief could bring.

Pine Ridge’s new chief’s name is Keith Parks. Parks has 15 years of experience in policing in several areas. He is originally from Chicago, Illinois where he was born and raised on the South Side. During his public service, he has held various positions including sergeant, major crimes detective, gang detective, school resource officer, and chief.

Chief Parks also has a great deal of education in his field. He studied Criminal Justice at Parkland College and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in education and Human Development from the University of North Dakota. He then earned his master’s in Public Administration from Bellevue University. He has also graduated the FBI’s Leadership Institute, Command Institute, and Executive Leadership Institute. He is a Gangs Specialist who is certified through the State of South Carolina and holds his B.I.D. Instructors’ Certification.

The chief has multiple awards under his belt. He has also been recognized by numerous groups and organizations for his work with at risk youths. This includes the South Side Help Center Board of Director’s Youth Legacy Award and the Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame. The Estill, SC Federal Prison even recognized the chief for revitalizing the Town of Estill Police Department where he once held that department's top position.

The Town of Pine Ridge released a statement recently that said, “Chief Parks looks to bring stability to the police chief’s position while deploying first class 21st century police practices revolving around community-oriented policing.”

If you see Chief Parks in and around the community, take a moment to say hello and give him a proper welcome to Pine Ridge.

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