The Richland County Sheriff’s Department recently received the Outstanding Middle School Business Partner Award from Lexington/Richland School District Five.

At the beginning of the 2016 school year, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department partnered with the Dutch Fork Middle School Action for Unity Club, a student organized club of 7th and 8th graders who promote awareness, healing, and unity between diverse groups through partnerships and purposeful acts of kindness.

The Action for Unity Club was inspired by the “Hate Won’t Win” movement which formed to spread love and unity after the tragic murder of the Emanuel Nine. Deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department attend meetings and discuss various topics affecting our citizens today such as; what to do if you’re ever pulled over by police, search and seizures, stop and frisk, and more. These discussions take place with students, parents, and faculty. The deputies mentor the students and assist in getting involved with their many service projects like an Action for Unity Anti-Bullying video at

Pictured from left to right: Lori Wenzinger (ACTION Club Adviser), Senior Deputy III Katelyn Jasak, Dr. Gerald Gard (Principal).