Rantin: Law enforcement officers group has new leader

10/23/2013 12:28 AM

02/08/2014 6:45 PM

Ryan Alphin is the new executive director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

The Columbia resident recently assumed the reins of the state’s largest law enforcement officers association that was established in 1941 and has nearly 8,000 members.

Alphin comes to the association from the Strom Law Firm in Columbia where he worked as an investigator since 2004.

“I am very excited to start a new chapter in my life, and I consider it an honor and a privilege to lead such a distinguished group of law enforcement professionals,” Alphin said. “This is not a privilege I take lightly.”

Alphin succeeds former executive director, Jarrod Bruder. SCLEOA president, Keith Kirchner of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, applauded his selection.

“The search for a new executive director was an extensive and long process with a number of highly qualified applicants expressing their interest,” Kirchner said. “Making the decision was a difficult one. We eventually chose Ryan for his unique qualities and obvious passion for supporting law enforcement in South Carolina. We welcome him aboard and look forward to a great future.”

A playground to remember

Several organizations in the Chapin community will come together Saturday to build a playground that will be dedicated to the memory of 6-year-old Omara Aiken who died in 2010.

The Chapin youngster died after she fell from the porch of an area home while entangled in a jump rope. The accident inspired Chapin High School principal Akil Ross and the parent of one of Omara’s classmates, Britt Holstein, to seek local funding to build the playground.

“We are hoping to turn a tragedy into a triumph for our community,” Holstein said. “By bringing together the resources of several local charities, we hope to provide a safe place for children in our community to play for many years to come.”

The playground will be built at The Hub at 670 Meadowlark Road in Little Mountain on property provided by the Community Union Association.

The Greater Chapin Community Endowment, Rotary Club of Chapin Sunrise, The Justin Pepper Foundation and Chapin Woman’s Club are funding the project, and Home Depot will provide installation supplies and labor.

Volunteers will construct the playground from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and a dedication ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.

Members of Omara’s kindergarten class, now third-graders, have been invited to attend the dedication ceremony and will be the first to enjoy the new playground.

“This project demonstrates the strength of community collaboration,” said JoAnn Turnquist, president & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “We hope this example inspires other organizations to join forces to make a difference in Chapin.”

About Bertram Rantin

Bertram Rantin

@bertramrantin

Bertram Rantin is The State's metro columnist with a current focus on the inspirational people and community helpers in Columbia, SC, and the Midlands. Rantin has covered a variety of areas during his tenure at the newspaper including local government, schools, sports, features, transportation, volunteerism and non profits. Email Bertram at brantin@thestate.com or call him at (803) 771-8306.

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