Center for Disability Resources (CDR)

Center for Disability Resources (CDR)

P4 Logo

The Palmetto Pyramid Police Partnership (P4)

The Palmetto Pyramid Police Partnership (P4) was conceptualized and launched through a federal Preschool Development Grant awarded to DSS, facilitated through collaborations by multiple state agencies. The goal of P4 is to pilot a model of best practice by providing consistency of care through the Handle With Care notification model and Pyramid Model implementation. P4 was piloted in Richland One School District with law enforcement support by the Columbia City Police Department and Richland County Sheriff’s Department in August 2021.

If this has piqued your interest, you are welcome to download the P4 brochure to learn more about the initiative, introduce the topic with others, or to remind yourself to check out the resources! (See P4 Brochure below.)

Although Handle With Care begins with law enforcement, anyone can make a Handle With Care referral. If you know a child that has been exposed to a traumatic event, and your school does not yet have a Handle With Care program, you can make a referral through this secured email:
Please list the child’s name, age, school, and the words “Handle With Care.” No other information needs to be provided.

NOTE: A Handle With Care referral does not take the place of a mandated reporter reporting suspected child abuse. If you suspect child abuse, call 1-888-CARE4US or 1-888-227-3487 and if there is an emergency, you need to call 911.

Law Enforcement is typically the first agency to come into contact with children when there has been a traumatic event.
(See Notification PowerPoint below.)
Notification Training: This is the training video that was sent to CPD and RCSD for their officers.

Columbia City Police Department:  
Richland County Sheriff’s Department:

A huge “THANK YOU” to Chief Holbrook and Sheriff Lott for their support and willingness to partner in the P4 initiative.


P4 is facilitated through the work of three supervisors and three masters of social work interns collaborating with law enforcement, local school districts, and participating school- and community-based mental health.

Let’s meet them!

rikki mccormick

Dr. Rikki McCormick is the Director of Veterans’ Education and Training Programs for the state of West Virginia. She was previously an Education Associate in the Office of Special Education Services for the South Carolina Department of Education, tasked primarily in bringing Handle With Care to South Carolina. Prior to being with the SCDE, she was the Director of Special Education and Student Support Services for Lincoln County Schools in Hamlin, WV and built the first trauma-responsive district in the state, and one of the first in the nation. She completed her undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training at Concord University and has done her graduate work through Marshall University. Dr. McCormick Lowe’s dissertation focused on Twitter’s uses in education. Her research interests have been in auditory processing disorder, D/deaf education, trauma informed care, youth mental health, educational technology, and digital citizenship.


Suzanne Snyder, a licensed professional counselor with over 20 years in the mental health field, she currently works at the South Carolina Department of Education as the Mental Health Program Manager. In this role, Ms. Snyder is responsible for helping districts integrate mental health in schools and respond to the mental health needs of students and staff more effectively. She currently has a private practice in Columbia, SC and specializes in depression, anxiety, and life issues with an emphasis on working with adolescents, young adults, and the LGBTQ+ community. Her background includes working in the HIV/AIDS community, specializing in transgender healthcare, Columbia Area Mental Health Child and Adolescent Clinic as the BabyNet Mental Health Coordinator, and Vocational Rehabilitation career services as a Rehabilitation Counselor. She has a Master of Arts in Counselor Education from Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. Suzanne is married with two children, a son at the University of South Carolina and a daughter in the 9th grade.


Meghan Trowbridge is the Assistant Director and Training Director at the University of South Carolina’s Center for Disability Resources (SC UCEDD/LEND) and a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine.  

Meghan has been working in the field of disabilities for over 27 years.  In her role at the South Carolina UCEDD, she focuses on projects centered on self-determination, person centered planning, and systems development.  Her newest efforts center on the Palmetto Pyramid Police Project (P4) working with local law enforcement agencies, daycare centers, and schools to implement the Handle with Care initiatives. She is currently the onsite supervisor for the P4 Initiative MSW interns.

Meghan is also the Social Work Core Faculty for the SC LEND.  She supervises multiple social work trainees in several organizations and teaches social work courses on disability, community development, human behavior, leadership, and supervision for the University of South Carolina, Winthrop University and Columbia College.  As a result of her efforts, CDR currently collaborates with over 25 agencies serving children, youth and families living with disabilities.  Committed to full inclusion for people with disabilities, Meghan has spent her professional career fostering collaborative relationships with a variety of community organizations.  She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and a Nationally Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer.


Savannah Edis, MSW Intern
Winthrop University


Jaleeia Thompson, BSW Intern
Columbia College


Adam Wenzel, MSW Intern
University of South Carolina

Sustainability and Expansion

Handle With Care is a national notification model that allows schools to know that a child has been exposed to a traumatic event and, thus, “handle with care.” Coupled with trauma-informed practices and school/community-based mental health, children can receive timely support in order to mitigate the effects trauma have on the brain, body, learning, and behavior.

The P4 project attempts, not only to implement Handle With Care within K-12 schools, but also to provide an avenue for support for our littlest learners in preschool, early childhood, early intervention, daycare, and home settings. (See Flow Charts for the HWC process below). To focus on sustainability and expansion, P4 now lives as a committee on the SC Pyramid Model State Leadership Team (SLT) housed at SCPI: South Carolina Partners for Inclusion, our Technical Assistance Center for Early Childhood Outcomes.

The goal of this committee is to train, coach, and support Handle With Care that provides Consistency of Care for infants, toddlers, and young children through home, school, law enforcement, and community agencies in identifying trauma, coordinating child and family supports, and providing follow-up to reduce the effects of trauma. (See Steering Committee Flyer below)

P4 Steering Committee

Resources for Daycares

Chief Holbrook and the P4 Program

...and we are moving!

Interest Site: An interest site is a district that has contacted and completed an interest meeting and has created a plan for next steps for implementing Handle With Care.


Implementation Site: An implementation site is a district that has held an interest meeting, established their notification protocol, initiated collaboration with law enforcement and has held the kickoff meeting.


Demonstration Site: A demonstration site has worked through all the steps of both interest and implementation site, and has received and responded to Handle With Care notices.


Active Site: An active site has worked through all the steps of interest, implementation, and demonstration sites, and is functioning independently as a Handle With Care district with a complete trauma-informed framework.