GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is continuing efforts to build better relationships with the community.

In July of 2020, it was announced a Community Relations Council would be formed. Members of the council have now been meeting for about a year, learning more about how the sheriff’s office works, and helping to foster stronger public trust.

“Well it wasn’t destroyed overnight and it’s not going to be repaired overnight,” Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said.

It’s something the community wanted too. And on Thursday, the Community Relations Council gave an update on its past year of work.

“We have been developing plans for the efforts the council will make to foster greater transparency and stronger public trust,” council chairman Scott Crosby said.

Crosby was joined by other members like Steve McNeely to share what has happened since its inception last year.

“It’s been a real eye-opener as to how real they are and how much they really care about the community,” McNeely said.

Since being appointed, these members have met at least once a month and have even gone through deputy training drills to have a better understanding of law enforcement.

“I think there’s some misconceptions maybe things that they don’t quite understand,” McNeely said.

Members said the diversity in the group will help accomplish that.

“Some are retired still working different groups of people and I think that’s important,” McNeely said.

Something the sheriff said is crucial to continuing transparency and trust.

“We hope that they’ll go back to their districts and represent the people there as well as law-enforcement and kind of help start building that bridge for us,” Sheriff Lewis said.

Each member was submitted by their community and then nominated by a county council member and will serve a two year term.