Contact Info
Sheriff
Ricky Chastain
216 West Main Street
Laurens, SC  29360
Phone: 864-984-4967
Fax: (864) 984-5754
Email: RChastain@laurenssheriff.org
Office Hours:


Sheriff and Administrative Staff
Mission
Administrative Division
Uniform Patrol Division
Criminal Investigation - Narcotics Division
Judicial Division
Detention Center Division
Special Teams
History
Accreditation

SHERIFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF


 

Ricky Chastain, Sheriff
Email: RChastain@laurenssheriff.org   
PO Box 68/216 West Main Street
Laurens, SC 29360








Wendy Powell, Administrative Secretary

Eddie M. Smith, Chief Deputy
864-984-4967
Email: esmith@laurenssheriff.org

James Hall, Detention Center Administrator
864-683-4055
Email: jhall@laurenssheriff.org

Chris Hudson, Captain, Administrative Division
864-984-4967
Email: chudson@laurenssheriff.org

Duane Howard, Captain, Uniform Patrol Division
864-984-4967
Email: dhoward@laurenssheriff.org

Michael Thomason, Captain, Training & Risk Management
864-984-4967
Email: mthomason@laurenssheriff.org

Candy Atkins. Lieutenant, Professional Standards / Court Officer
864-984-4967
Email: cboone@laurenssheriff.org

Ted Richardson, Captain, Community Services Division
864-984-4967
Email: trichardson@laurenssheriff.org

Charles Boyce, Captain, Judicial Services Division
864-683-4055
Email: cboyce@laurenssheriff.org

Stephane Williams, Captain, Criminal Investigations / Narcotics
864-984-4967
Email: swilliams@laurenssheriff.org
 
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MISSION
The mission of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office is to preserve the peace, protect life and property, prevent crime, apprehend criminals, recover lost or stolen property, deliver consistent and humane treatment to those under our care and custody and to enforce in a fair and impartial manner all Federal, State and County Laws .

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and its staff will serve the public by direction, counsel, and in other ways that do not interfere with the discharge of our Law Enforcement responsibilities.  The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office will respect and protect the rights of individuals and perform their service with honesty, zeal, courage, fidelity and sound judgment.

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that no law enforcement agency can operate at its maximum potential without the support of the citizens that it serves.  Essential to the success of our mission is meeting the needs of our community through service to our community, interaction with our citizens, being community based problem solvers, adhering to high ethical standards of conduct and administering not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.


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ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION
The Laurens County Sheriff Office Records Division Personnel perform various complex clerical duties necessary for the effective operation of the Operations Division of the Sheriff’s office.  They prepare process, and maintain legal records and documents and perform routine clerical and administrative duties.

When the deputy responds to a call and if an incident report is generated it is assigned to a Criminal Investigation Investigator and is routed to the central records department. All incident reports have been assigned a case number and all information pertaining to a case {report} is filed and remains permanently.

Central Records department processes traffic and boating citations issued by a deputy and transmits them to the traffic department, SC Dept. of Public Safety, or the Department of Natural Resources. Reports that meet a specific requirement for other agencies are processed and delegated to the proper agency, Such as:

  • Felony arrest by a deputy is processed and transmitted to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office for prosecution.
  • Misdemeanor arrest by a deputy is processed and transmitted to the Department of Juvenile Justice for prosecution.
  • Juvenile arrest by deputy is processed and transmitted to the Department of Juvenile Justice for prosecution. 
  • Juvenile arrest for a felony offense or act of violence is processed and transmitted to the Laurens County School District system to be informed there is a problem with that particular juvenile.
  • All domestic violence reports are processed and transmitted to the Safe Home, Inc. {A shelter for battered/abused women & children. All sexual and child abuse incident reports are red-flagged to prevent a victim’s name or identity becoming a public record.

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UNIFORM PATROL DIVISION
Duane Howard, Captain, Uniform Patrol Division

The Uniform Patrol Division of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office is staffed and manned to render general public safety assistance to those who live, work and play in Laurens County. The principal responsibility of the Uniform Patrol Division is to provide twenty-four hour protection for the citizens and visitors of Laurens County.  In addition the act to prevent the occurrence of crimes through visible preventative patrol; to respond rapidly to all requests of an emergency nature; to improve the criminal apprehension rate by conducting thorough preliminary on-scene investigations where appropriate; to assist citizens in dealing with legal, medical, social or humanitarian problems through direct crisis intervention and/or making referrals to agencies equipped to deal with such problems; and to improve law enforcement and community relations through increasing the quality and quantity of between citizens and the Sheriff’s Office.

The members of the Uniform Patrol Division are geographically dispersed through the 713 square miles of Laurens County.  The Uniform Patrol operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The primary goal of the Uniform Patrol Division is the preservation of peace and social order. To achieve this goal, every effort will be made to build a strong positive relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the community it serves.

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CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION - NARCOTICS DIVISION
Stephane Williams, Captain, Criminal Investigations / Narcotics

The Criminal Investigation Division shares the responsibilities for compiling information to substantiate the existence of criminal activity; for obtaining evidence to identify, arrest, and convict those who violate the law; for locating stolen property; and for providing assistance to those victimized by the criminal actions of others.  The Criminal Investigations Division is also responsible for assisting and preparing criminal cases, which are brought before the courts.  If you have any information pertaining to past or future criminal activity, please contact the Criminal Investigation Division at (864) 984-4967 .  All information will remain confidential.

The L.C.S.O. Narcotics Investigation Unit consists of uniquely trained individuals who have extensive knowledge of the narcotics trade, specializing in the recognition, apprehension and prosecution of persons involved in illegal drug activity.  The unit uses state of the art equipment to conduct surveillance and undercover operations. These investigators focus on the interdiction and seizure of illegal drugs and drug assets.

The unit maintains officers on Task Forces that are comprised of Federal, State, and local officers.  These Task forces target and investigate the larger and more highly organized narcotics dealers.

Drug assets include cash, vehicles, houses, businesses, jewelry, and any other direct proceeds from the sale of drugs.  The unit traces drug dealers’ assets and coordinates with the seizure attorney in the solicitor’s office and the courts.  The Unit conducts auctions on a periodic basis to dispose of seized assets. The public is welcome and encouraged to come to these auctions.

Narcotic Investigators are available to come to your community meeting, business, or school to give presentations on drug abuse, drug recognition, and enforcement.

The L.C.S.O. Narcotics Investigation Unit can only be successful if its efforts are supported by the citizens of Laurens County.  Most of the information and tips received come from average citizens and they can remain totally anonymous.

If you would like to give information about drugs being sold or someone who is selling drugs, please call us at 864-984-4967, to leave an anonymous tip on voice mail, call 864-984-3589.  All information will remain confidential.

Stephane Williams, Captain
Email: swilliams@laurenssheriff.org
  
Brian Bridges, Lieutenant
Email: bbridges@laurenssheriff.org
 
Micky Coates, Sergeant
Email: mcoates@laurenssheriff.org

 Vickie White, Lieutenant
Email: vwhite@laurenssheriff.org

 Danny Bolt, Lieutenant
Email: dbolt@laurenssheriff.org
   
Robert Wilkie, Lieutenant
Email: rwilkie@laurenssheriff.org

Jawarski Shelton, Sergeant
Email: jshelton@laurenssheriff.org
   
Robert Plaxico, Lieutenant
Email: rplaxico@laurenssheriff.org

Jim Burns, Sergeant
Email: jburns@laurenssheriff.org
   
Ben Blackmon, Sergeant
Email: bblackmon@laurenssheriff.org

Steve Paterson, Lieutenant
Email: spaterson@laurenssheriff.org

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Links of Interest
Fugitives / Predators:
FBI’s Most Wanted
America’s Most Wanted
SC Dept. of Corrections
US Marshals
SC Sex Offenders 

Reference / Information:
SC Code of Laws
SC State Agencies
Sheriff’s Association
Weapons Permit
SC Statistics (Crime)

Victim's Advocate:
Safe Home of Laurens
Missing Children
Dept. of Social Services
Net Fraud and Scams
Better Business Bureau
Federal Consumer Info
Natl. Consumers League  

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JUDICIAL DIVISION
Charles Boyce, Captain, Judicial Services Division

The Judicial Services Division’s primary responsibilities include recording warrants that are received by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, assuring that they are assigned for service and extraditing fugitives from justice outside the state of South Carolina.  The Warrants Division is located at the Johnson Detention Center on Templeton Road.

Civil Process, Child Support Enforcement, and Court Security also fall under the Judicial Services Division.  Their duties are to insure that all process related to civil matters for which the Sheriff’s Office is responsible are served in a timely efficient manner and that the security of the courts are maintained
 
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DETENTION CENTER DIVISON
James Hall, Detention Center Administrator

Detention administration is made up of the jail administrator, chief jailer and administrative assistant.  This administration manages the overall operation of the detention center. The detention center is located on Templeton Road, approximately five miles from the sheriff’s office.  The R. Eugene Johnson Detention Center is capable of housing 200 adult inmates.  The sheriff has appointed a jail administrator to over see the daily operation of the facility.  The detention officers are detention deputies and wear the same uniform as law enforcement officers with equal status and benefits.


SPECIAL TEAMS

D.A.R.E.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) is provided by the Sheriff's Office to the  schools located in Laurens County. This program is funded by Laurens County,  fund raising events, and private donations.

D.A.R.E. is a substance use  prevention education program designed to teach young people the effects of drugs  and alcohol. D.A.R.E. also teaches them self-management and resistance skills. This program uses a well-trained, uniformed deputy to teach a formal semester-long  curriculum.

The instructor works with children to raise  their self-esteem, teach them how to make decisions on their own, and help them identify positive alternatives to substance abuse. The uniformed D.A.R.E.  instructor serves as a role model for children at an impressionable age and is very credible on the subject of drug use. Moreover, by relating to students in this role, the deputy develops a rapport that promotes a positive attitude toward police and greater respect for the law.

Many people believe that over time, a change in public attitude will reduce the demand for drugs.  D.A.R.E. seeks to promote that change sooner by reaching children at an early age. Equally as important, D.A.R.E. instructors help children develop more mature decision-making capabilities that they can apply to many situations as  they grow up.


SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

School Resource Officers are Deputies assigned on a full-time basis to schools within the Laurens County School System through a joint arrangement between the school district, county of Laurens and the Sheriff's Office.

School Resource  Officers are responsible for teaching classes in law and community related  subjects to the students; promoting a better understanding and communication  between the youth in the community and the Sheriff's Office. School Resource Officers interact with students and staff daily, and may also provide assistance at special school events.

Some goals of the school resource officer  program are to acquaint students with accurate information with regards to all aspects of the law, crime prevention, and other related subjects, and to provide a readily available officer on campus to encourage questions, discussions, and  general communication between the students and the officer.


COMMUNITY ACTION TEAM

The Community Action Team is a group of specialized, highly trained officers.  It is their mission; using community oriented policing methods, to solve law enforcement problems that arise in the various communities of Laurens County.  However, the C.A.T. program is far more than a mere extension of law enforcement.

It is the mission of the C.A.T. program to develop long-term solutions for areas of Laurens County with specific problems.  These officers attend community meetings, and gather information about the specific area of the county and that area’s special needs.  They also perform tasks as simple as conducting home and business security surveys, to developing strategies for ridding areas of drug dealers and other criminals.

C.A.T. members, through constant, reliable participation in community activities become well known to community leaders, civic and religious groups, and other neighborhood organizations.  They become a trusted, dependable advocate of the community.  The goal of the entire C.A.T. program is to give law enforcement its most powerful tool – unity with the community that we serve.

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RESERVE DEPUTY TEAM

Reserve Deputies supplement the efforts of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office to provide the highest level of service to the citizens of Laurens County.  In order to become a Reserve Deputy these men and women must go through a rigorous interview and training process consisting of instruction in state and federal laws, radio communications, domestic violence, ethics, officer survival, policy training, and other related enforcements topics.  Reserve Deputies provide traffic control during special events, provide law enforcement assistance during public events, patrolling the county, answering calls for service, assisting in special operations conducted by the Sheriff’s Office.  Reserve Deputies perform these functions without any monetary compensation and without cost to the county, other than equipment.


EXPLORER PROGRAM
The Explorer Program is a program that is done through the Boy Scouts Of America and is open to males and females age 14--20. The idea is for the youth and young adults of the county of Laurens to learn more about all types of law enforcement and the everyday operation of a real working Sheriff’s Office. The Explorers will also learn about crime prevention and community policing.  The Explorer Program is designed to teach the youth and young adults how to become better citizens along with helping to establish crime watch zones in the community.  The Explorers will be assisting at the high school football games and other community events throughout Laurens county.

Requirements to be an Explorer:

  • Reside in Laurens County, South Carolina
  • Between the Ages of 14 - 20
  • Attend Meetings at the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office
  • Once Every Two Weeks at 7pm on Tuesdays


Benefits of being an Explorer:

  • Uniform
  • Badge
  • Ride-Along Program
  • Trips and Camp Outs
  • Jr. Police Academy
  • Police Training
  • Sports Teams
  • Working at Sporting Events
  • Community Crime Prevention Fairs and D.A.R.E. Fairs

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CANINE TEAM
The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office owns two specially trained bloodhound tracking dogs, “Doc” and “Dale,” that are available to assist in searching for criminal suspects, fugitives, or missing persons.  In 1998, Bloodhound tracking teams responded on 190 cases, covering more than 398 miles of tracking, and expending more than 430 hours.  In 95 cases the tracking effort was successful for an average success rate of 50%.  The average called involved 27 vehicle miles, 2.1 ground miles, 2.3 hours of tracking.  Lt. Robert Plaxico is in charge of the program and is assisted by 9 trained deputies. 

CHAPLIN PROGRAM
Although the seeds for the Chaplain Program of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office were planted in the previous administration, it was not until Sheriff Ricky W. Chastain’s election that it began to flourish.  Sheriff Chastain saw the value of such a program and gave it his wholehearted support.

The program provides for a volunteer chaplain to be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  They are available for crisis ministry to deputies, administrative personnel and families when necessary.  The chaplains do ride-along with deputies, make hospital visitations and perform a variety of other ministerial functions.

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HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF
The office of the sheriff is one of antiquity. It is the oldest law enforcement office known within the common-law system and it has always been accorded great dignity and high trust.  For the most part, the Office Of The Sheriff evolved of necessity.  If there had not been laws that had required enforcing, there would have been no necessity for the Sheriff. There would have been no need for the development of police administration, criminology, criminalizes, etc.  This is not the case, however. Man learned quite early that is not orderly in the universe.  All times and all places have generated those who covet the property of their neighbors and who are willing to expropriate this property by any means. As such man’s quest for equity and order gave birth to the "Office of the Sheriff", the history of which begins in the Old Testament and continues through the annuals of Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, there is no honorable law enforcement authority in Anglo-American law so ancient as that of the County Sheriff. Today, as in the past, the County Sheriff is a peace officer entrusted with the maintenance of law and order and the preservation of domestic tranquility.

Sheriffs have served and protected the English-speaking people for a thousand years.  The Office of Sheriff and the law enforcement, judicial and correctional functions he performs are more than 1000 years old.  The Office of Sheriff dates back at least to the reign of Alfred the Great of England, and some scholars even argue that the Office of Sheriff was first created during the Roman occupation of England.

Around 500 Ad, Germanic tribes from Europe (called the Anglo-Saxons) began an invasion of Celtic England, which eventually led over the centuries to the consolidation of Anglo-Saxon England as a unified kingdom under Alfred the Great late in the 9th Century.  Alfred divided England into geographic units called “shires”, or counties.

In 1066, William the Conquer defeated the Anglo-Saxons and instituted his own Norman government in England.  Both under the Anglo-Saxons and under the Normans, the King of England appointed a representative called a “reeve” to act on behalf of the king in each shire or county.  The “shire-reeve”, or King’s representative in each county became the “Sheriff” as the English language changed over the years.  The shire-reeve, or Sheriff, was the chief law enforcement officer of each county in the year 1000 AD.  He still will have the same function in South Carolina in the year 2000 AD.

The concepts of  “county” and “Sheriff” were essentially the same as they had been during the previous 900 years of English legal history.  Because of the English heritage of the American colonies, the new United States adopted the English law and legal institutions as its owner.

Clearly, the Sheriff is the only viable officer remaining of the ancient offices, and his contemporary responsibility as conservator of the peace has been influenced greatly by modern society.  As the crossbow gave way to the primitive flintlock the Sheriff is not unaccustomed to change.  But now, perhaps more than ever before in history, law enforcement is faced with complex, moving, rapid changes in methodology, technology, and social attitudes. 

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Previous Sheriff's of Laurens County

William  Milwee, Commissioned Aug. 16, 1785 -1788
David  Anderson, 1789 - 1795
William  Hunter, 1796 - 1799
Lewis  Saxon,  Dec. 21, 1799 - 1803
Robert Word,  1804 - 1807
John Clark,  1808 - 1811
Benjamin Nabors,  1812 - 1815
Jesse  Mabry,  1816 - 1817 
Sam C. Downs,  1817 - 1820
Allen  Barksdale, 1821 - 1824
Nat  Day, 1825 - 1828
John H.  Coleman,  1829 - 1832
J.S. Rodgers,  1833 - 1836
A.C. Jones, 1837 - 1840
C.M. Kennedy, 1840 - 1844
John Hudgens, 1845 - 1848
Johnny J.  Atwood,  1849 - 1852
Oswald O.  Richardson, 1853 - 1856
John W.  Arnold,  1857 - 1860
G.F. Moseley, 1861 - 1865
B.W. Lanford, Jan. 11, 1866 - Dec. 31 1866
B.S. Jones, Elected  1868
S. W.  Anderson, 1865 - 1870
John Nabors, 1865 - 1870  (alternate record)
John H.  Little,  1873 - 1876
John Robertson,  1873 - 1876  (alternate record)
D.M. Milam, Comm. Oct. 20, 1876
C.L. Fike, 1877 - 1880
Capt. John D.W. Watts, 1881 - 1884
B.F. Ballew,  1885 - 1892
George S.  McCravey, 1893 - 1900
Capt.  Thomas J. Duckett,  1901 - 1908
John D.  Owings, 1909 - 1916
S.C. Reid,  1917 - 1924
Columbus L.  Owens, 1925 - 1936
John D.W.  Watts, Comm. April  21, 1936
Caldwell W.  Weir, Comm. Dec. 18, 1936 - 1952
W.A. Lowery, Comm. Dec. 19, 1952 - 1956
Caldwell W.  Weir,  1957 - 1960
R. Eugene  Johnson, 1961 - 1985
William P. “Billy” Robertson,  1985 - 1989
R. Eugene  Johnson, Jan. 3,  1989 - 1993
James H. Moore,  Jan. 5,  1993 - 2000
Ricky W. Chastain, Jan. 2,  2001 - Present

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ACCREDITATION
On January 4, 2000 the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office was the first Sheriff’s Office in the State of South Carolina and the first law enforcement agency in the State of South Carolina to achieve accreditation status from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Association.

Accreditation increases the law enforcement agency’s ability to prevent and control crime thorough more effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the community it serves.

Accreditation enhances community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community as well as its goals and objectives. Citizen confidence in the policies and practices of the agency is increased. Accreditation, in conjunction with the philosophy of community policing, commits the agency to a broad range of programs that directly benefit the public.

Accreditation will help create a partnership in which police and citizens work together to control and prevent crime. This partnership will help citizens to understand the challenges that confront law enforcement. Law enforcement will in turn receive clear direction from the community about its expectations.

Sheriff Chastain and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office are firmly behind the accreditation process and are remaining a state accredited agency. Sheriff Chastain realizes that State Accreditation will further enhance the Sheriff’s Office in assuring that the citizens of Laurens County receive the best services that the Sheriff’s Office can provide.

In order to gain state accreditation, state commission officials visit the agency in order to determine whether the agency has complied with all applicable standards.

This on-site assessment is coordinated through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Council. State commission officials, which are members of the Police Accreditation Coalition, submit an on-site assessment report to the state council, whereupon full accreditation or deferred accreditation status is granted. If accreditation is deferred, the state council members advises the agency of the steps necessary to gain accreditation.

State accreditation is for a three-year period. To maintain accreditation during this period, agencies must remain in compliance with applicable standards. Agencies must apply for re-accreditation prior to the 36th month after their original accreditation dates to guarantee access to the re-accreditation process without an interruption in accredited status.

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