Man makes amends years after burglarizing Chief's house - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Man makes amends years after burglarizing Chief's house

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Fewer than three years ago, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen became the victim of a then 23-year-old man who broke into his home.  Now, Chief Mullen is congratulating Brian Rogers on the successful completion of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Drug Court.

"From seeing him behind a window in a striped suit, to seeing him today in a coat and tie, it's certainly a significant change," Chief Mullen said.

Rogers is one of two graduates who completed the Drug Court program,which culminated in a graduation ceremony at the Charleston County Judicial Center on Wednesday evening.

"It's crazy; It's almost the opposite," Rogers said.  "I look in the mirror today and I don't recognize that person because I'm so different."

Drug Court is a year-long alternative for non-violent offenders caught in the cycle of re-arrests due to an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

"They find out they have to go to court once a week, they have a minimum of two AA meetings a week, treatment three nights a week and drug testing up to six times a week," Drug Court Coordinator Debbie Walker said.

Each graduate had more than a dozen of friends and family members in attendance to show their support,including Rogers' father, who can recall the phone call informing him of his son's arrest.

"I'll be honest with you: It was a relief that he was in jail. I got to sleep that night - my son wasn't going to die that night," he said.

Graduates must also pay a weekly $30 program fee and restitution to their victims.  Rogers presented Chief Mullen with a check worth $1,126.

"I've emailed him many letters letting him know what I'm doing in my life and that they were so well-received that he would come here and speak at my graduation meant a whole lot -- it was amazing," Rogers said, adding that he has a job and is a full-time student.

Chief Mullen said the program is a successful way to rehabilitate offenders, like Rogers.

"It clearly helps people overcome one of the most traumatic things that we deal with in our society -- which is drug addiction," he said.

Once completed, charges against the participant are dismissed.

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