UNION CO., S.C. (WSPA) – Union County has a new sheriff and 7 News was the first to sit down with him on Wednesday to discuss his new role, his vision for the county, and his first order of business.
Jeff Bailey told 7 News he’s ready to make some big changes at the sheriff’s office, starting first with the community.
He said he wants to build a better relationship with those he’ll be serving and protecting–particularly earning the trust of the youth.
“We need to make the kids aware that a police officer is a sign of safety, and let them know that they can count on them and they can go to them,” Jeff Bailey said.
7 News got the inside scoop on what Bailey and his department are already working on to achieve this goal.
“We’ve got great officers and deputies in the Union County Sheriff’s Office and they just got a bad rap, so what we need to do is just get that image improved,” Bailey said.
Jeff Bailey was just elected as the new sheriff of Union County on Tuesday and he’s already got a cold case on his hands.
He’s investigating the best way to build a friendship with the youth in his community.
“Let them know there’s more to it than just arresting people and trying to prosecute them,” he said. “A lot of times you just see the gun and the badge and you don’t see the heart behind it.”
And what better way to make friends than with ice cream?
“Everybody screams for ice cream,” Bryan Farr said. “That’s the best word of love: ice cream.”
Bryan Farr is the owner of Emma’s Sundae Fundae in Union, a new ice cream shop designed specifically for kids and named after his own.
When Farr heard about the department’s efforts to form a sweeter relationship with the county’s youth, he joined in on the investigation.
“Union doesn’t have a lot for the kids to be able to get out and do and have fun,” Farr said.
So, right now, deputies are on the lookout for any children doing good deeds.
“When a child’s trying to stop somebody from bullying, helping an elderly woman take her groceries out of Walmart,” Farr said.
“You helped somebody, held the door, or just being mannerly. That goes a long way,” Bailey said. “If you teach the kids now, I think, in the future, it’s going to pay off for us.”
They’ll be dishing out ice cream citations, meaning if you get a ticket, you get a scoop.
The sheriff’s office is hoping to teach life lessons in the process.
“More or less, keep them off the streets and kind of keep their heads in the right place,” Farr said. “Teach people what not to do and how to treat each other a whole lot better. If we’re going to change that, we’ve got to start with our youth and our children.”
“That way, in the long run, they’ll respect us and it might possibly impress them enough that they’ll want to be a deputy one day,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he’d like to thank members of the sheriff’s office for coming up with the fun idea.
If your child is given an ice cream citation, they should appear at Emma’s Sundae Fundae as soon as possible to exchange it for any of the more than 50 flavors on the menu.
The ice cream shop is open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.