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Darlington police plan link-up with US counterparts
DARLINGTON residents could see police officers from a namesake town in the US patrolling the streets, if plans for a transatlantic link-up come to fruition.
PC John Forster, of North Road neighbourhood policing team, has contacted his counterpart in Darlington County, South Carolina, almost 4,000 miles away, with a view to sharing ideas and techniques.
The project is still in its early stages, but PC Forster is hopeful of working up an exchange programme, which would see officers from the US visit the UK and vice versa.
PC Forster said: “The chief of police in South Carolina got back to me, he was really enthusiastic about the idea and I am waiting for one of his officers to get in touch.
“It is really early days, but hopefully a physical exchange project can be organised.”
Darlington County covers an area of more than 550 square miles and has a population of about 68,000.
One of the county’s main population areas is the small city of Darlington, home to some 12,000 people and best known for its motorsports arena.
PC Forster added: “I imagine they would have some good ideas and we could develop one or two ideas of our own with them.
“There might be some ways of working in the US that are so far removed from the kind of problems we are dealing with over here.
“But I am sure we could benefit one another.
“There is a spark of interest from them, with us being called Darlington as well. They seem keen.”
Darlington also has namesakes in the US states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Wisconsin.