Monday, March 5, 2012

City Manager Appoints Interim Director of Public Safety

Crystal Roberts, 12 Year Veteran of CDPS, to Lead Department During Transition

Clinton, SC, March 2, 2012:  City Manager Frank Stovall has announced that Crystal Roberts, a twelve year veteran of the Clinton Department of Public Safety, will assume the role of Interim Director of the City’s Department of Public Safety when current Director Stacy Drakeford retires at the end of March.
Current Public Safety Director, Stacy Drakeford, announced his retirement from the Clinton Department of Public Safety in February and will retire at the end of March. In his nearly three years of service to the City of Clinton, Drakeford has focused on training and on forming partnerships between the citizens and the Department of Public Safety. “Chief Drakeford has set the bar very high when it comes to the management of the Department of Public Safety and the provision of quality police and fire services to our citizens” said Stovall.
Crystal M. Roberts began her career as a Community Police Officer in 2000 after graduating from the University of South Carolina Upstate with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  Since joining the force, she has steadily risen through the ranks and served in a variety of capacities in the Department of Public Safety. Roberts has a passion for the community and has served as a community police officer and as a school resource officer at both Bell Street Middle School and Clinton High School. In addition to working closely with the schools, Roberts has also served in the patrol division for several years, first as a public safety officer, and then as a Sergeant, and finally as a supervising Lieutenant. Most recently, Roberts has served in the investigations unit and has managed the administrative functions of the department.
Roberts is also a certified fire fighter and has received additional training in fire scene management, firefighting, and hazardous chemical response. As a member of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children, Roberts has worked in concert with state and local law enforcement across the state to protect our state’s children from internet predators. Crystal Roberts was awarded the South Carolina Attorney General's Child Safety Award in 2007 and was named the CDPS 2010 Officer of the Year.
“Crystal Roberts brings a variety of skills to the leadership position and I feel confident that her experiences in investigation, fire fighting, community policing, school and campus safety, and general law enforcement will continue to be an asset to the city and the surrounding community.” said Stovall. “I look forward to working with Interim Director Roberts as we continue to improve our department and to provide quality services to our citizens.” he continued.
Personnel in the Department of Public Safety, as well as the City’s Senior Staff were informed of the appointment Thursday evening during a staff meeting at the Department of Public Safety. “This department is more than just one person or one position. To be the best department we can be requires that each member of the department perform at their very best each day. I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with the members of the Department of Public Safety in this new position.” Roberts said in a statement made to the members of the Department of Public Safety.
The City of Clinton plans to conduct a comprehensive search for a new director to replace Chief Drakeford over the next few months.

Water Boils Over…

I was on my way home when I saw it. A lot of water where a lot of water didn't belong. To many of you driving home on Monday afternoon it was an oddly large puddle in the road where South Broad Street and West Walnut Street . To us, it was the beginning of a long night.

By 5 pm, a small team of public works employees had returned to work and were busy preparing to reroute traffic on Broad Street and locate and repair what was becoming a pretty significant leak from the main water line that runs under the south bound lane of Broad Street. You probably never think of the water and sewer infrastructure that is under the roads you travel on, but we do.

As the evening wore on, the size of the problem would become even more apparent as your public works crews uncovered the main water line. Additional personnel were called in to assist with the removal and replacement of several feet of water main that had ruptured due to the age of the pipe. As temperatures fell and while many of you were watching the Daytona 500, your public works director and the majority of your water and sewer employees were working to restore pressure, replace worn out pipe, and get the roadway put back together before you left for work in the morning. If you were watching the Daytona race, you saw race teams working together to keep their cars on the track. If you were driving on South Broad Street Monday night you saw a team of city employees working hard to keep their city on track. Once the repair was completed, the city issued a Boil Water Advisory.

A Boil Water Advisory, like the one issued last week, is simply a precautionary statement that is issued by the city when something has happened which may cause the water distribution system to become contaminated. In the case of the most recent advisory, the incident which had the possibility to cause a contamination event was a water main break. Other incidents that might trigger advisories include instances when contaminated water may have reached the distribution system, line breaks that may allow for dirt and debris to enter the pipes during the repair, or extreme losses of water pressure in the distribution system. When an advisory is issued, the city will notify local media outlets, including the news media and local tv stations. We also issued the most recent advisory on our city Facebook page and on our city website at

The chances of getting sick from water during a Boil Water Advisory is very small, however, your children, the elderly, and people who may already be sick may have a greater chance of getting sick in the rare event that bacteria are in the water during an advisory.

A Boil Water Notice is issued when contamination of the water distribution system has been confirmed. This means that tests have found some contamination in the water. When a notice is issued the city notifies local media and takes the extra step of sending city workers throughout the impacted neighborhood to notify residents and business owners of the situation. Individual contact with each homeowner and business was not made Monday night because the city issued a simple advisory, and not a Boil Water Notice.

When a notice or advisory is issued, you should boil water for one minute before using it as drinking water, using it to brush your teeth, providing it to pets, using it for cooking, or using it to wash food. Your water is safe to shower or bathe in, and you can continue to do laundry, water lawns, and use water as you normally would. The only difference is that you should boil any water you will consume. Any ice you may have made during the advisory or notice period should be discarded.

An advisory or a notice will be lifted when two water samples taken 24 hours apart show no contamination. When the city lifts an advisory or notice, the information is made available to local media outlets. Once a notice has been lifted, you should take a few minutes to flush your residential water system by running you water for approximately one minute.

If your home has a water filter, you should still take the step of boiling your water since many water filters are only designed to impact the taste of water but may not remove bacteria and other contaminants.

Remember that a Boil Water Advisory is issued when there is a chance of contamination and not because there is actual contamination. The more serious Boil Water Notice is issued when there is a confirmed contamination of water. The city takes more aggressive steps as required when a notice is issued. Rest assured that safe drinking water is one of your city's top priorities, and when a line breaks, your public works department will not rest until the break is repaired and your service is restored.