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Thursday, September 5, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - The Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission presented the agency’s Community Star award to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in recognition of the community partnership that deputies created with recreation agency employees and citizens as a result of establishing a Sheriff’s Department substation at Seven Oaks Park at 200 Leisure Lane near Irmo.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said the award in part recognizes the efforts of Irmo Resident Deputy Dan Rusinyak and Sgt. Tony Ayers, who serves as a crime prevention officer. Rusinyak and Ayers work out of offices at the park, which the recreation agency operates.

“The officers serving the substation are people-oriented, problem-solvers who are an important part of our neighborhood and agency,” Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission Chairman John Sowards said in presenting the Community Star award to the Sheriff’s Department on August 28. “Besides the obvious crime deterrent, their presence in the park has had a far-reaching positive impact in the community.”

The Sheriff’s Department established the substation at the park in 2011, Metts said. Rusinyak and Ayers interact with citizens who visit the park or need help from law enforcement. The park also serves as a location for neighborhood watch group meetings for citizens in the Irmo community. In addition, parents can bring child safety seats to the substation and ask deputies to inspect the seats and ensure that the seats are properly installed in motor vehicles.

In the past two years, Ayers organized annual security expositions at the park in order to provide citizens with an opportunity to meet with businesses and learn how citizens can reduce opportunities for criminals to commit crimes at their homes and businesses, Metts said.

In one week, the Sheriff’s Department and Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission will conduct the fourth annual Family Fun Day for residents in the Irmo community between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 14 at Seven Oaks Park, Metts said.

Metts encourages parents and legal guardians to bring children to the event, which will include a demonstration by the Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit as well as static displays by the agency’s Aviation Unit, Bomb Squad, Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Crime Prevention Unit, Gang Unit, Lake Murray Marine Patrol and Bicycle Unit. Members of the Sheriff’s Department Explorers Post will prepare fingerprint identification cards for children who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The Sheriff’s Department will provide ice cream free of charge to participants at the Family Fun Day, Metts said. The Chick-fil-A cow mascot also will be in attendance at the event.

Rusinyak will coordinate the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in the Family Fun Day, Metts said. Citizens who have questions concerning the event can contact Rusinyak on his office voice mail at (803) 785-0882 or via email at drusinyak@lcsd.sc.gov.

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