Jul 22 2011

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Sheriff and Community Leaders Recognized by Pagan Round Table

The Pagan Round Table recently recognized three key community leaders in South Carolina:

Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County Sheriff’s Department

Veronica Kunz, Executive Director of S.C. Victim Assistance Network

Detective Dottie Cronise,  Richland County Sheriff’s Department

Pagan Round Table co-founder Holli Emore presented Lott, Kunz and Cronise with certificates of appreciation for outstanding community service and support of religious pluralism.  Sheriff Lott spoke about how Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) has worked for the past decade or more to educate officers about the broad cultural diversity found in the region.

“We are the sheriff’s department, I am the sheriff, for all of Richland County,” said Lott.  “Your religion may look very different from mine, but my job is to keep the community a safe place for you to exercise the freedom of religion guaranteed to you by this country.”

Detective Cronise has served since 2004 as  liaison to Pagan (and other minority religion) victims of crime, periodically arranging for training by Emore, and visiting local Pagan groups to establish ties.   Cronise researched Pagan issues even prior to being contacted by local Pagans in 2004 and has helped dispel misconceptions about so-called “satanic ritual abuse.”

Ms. Kunz is a longtime dedicated advocate for the needs and rights of victims, their families and those who serve them (www.scvan.org).  South Carolina is second only to Washington, DC, in the rate of violent crime.  Fortunately, 1998 state legislation recognized the rights of victims and set up a system of criminal restitution to pay for victim services.

The event was attended by other police officers, court-appointed special advocates for children, and disaster services volunteers, as well as students, professionals and other citizens from throughout the Midlands area.  Sheriff Lott invited anyone who feels they have been the victim of crime and need assistance to contact him at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

The Pagan Round Table is held on the third Tuesday of each month, 6-8 PM.  For more information, contact the Pagan Round Table at sekhmet @ osireion.com.

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