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Home  |  News  |  Graduates celebrate joining the Richland County Sheriff's Department family as Reservists‏

Graduates celebrate joining the Richland County Sheriff's Department family as Reservists‏
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - During ceremonies held Friday December 2, 2011 at the South Carolina State Guard Armory, 15 graduates celebrated joining the Richland County Sheriff's Department family as the newest Reserve Deputies.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott welcomed the new class, thanking them for their commitment to the Sheriff's Department and the safety of the people of Richland County. Sheriff Leon Lott applauded them for challenging themselves both physically and academically over the 7 month period.

Among those graduating - Reserve Deputy Chris Hall. Hall was awarded the distinguished Bill McKinzie Class Leadership Award. Sheriff Leon Lott states that the award is given to the class member selected by their peers who has demonstrated the most outstanding leadership qualities during the course of training. Hall also received an Academic Award -- given to officers who attained a score of 90 or higher on their Criminal Justice Academy exam, and a Marksmanship Award-- given to officers who received a score of 250 or greater on that test. The Reserve program challenges the recruits in so many ways and all graduates should be proud of their achievements.

Also among the graduating class was John Burriss Jr., Executive Vice President of Gold's Gym. He was the only member of the class to be recognized with awards in all three areas of Academics, Physical Agility and Marksmanship. Burriss says he was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the program.

"I always felt like I wanted to do something in law enforcement but didn't have the opportunity," he says. "It's been a fun ride so far."

Burriss puts in 10 hours a week on the road riding with Deputies. The required ride along time for Reservists is 60 hours every 3 months- Burriss is putting in 40 hours in a month. "I've been putting in a lot of hours, but I love it. I can't wait to see what's next from here."

During the ceremony the following were sworn in as the newest Reserve Deputies:

Linda Houck (Academic Award), Gregory Barefoot (Academic Award), Bernard Brailsford, Sr., John Burriss, Jr. (Academic Award, Physical Agility Award, Marksmanship Award), Zachery Delk (Academic Award), Nathan Grant (Physical Agility Award, Marksmanship Award), Ronald Griffin, Christopher Hall (Bill McKinzie Class Leadership Award, Academic Award, Marksmanship Award), James Lykes, Jr., Furman Martin, Randy McLeod, Frederick Mitchell (Physical Agility Award), Joseph Rauseo, Brian Rister (Academics Award, Physical Agility Award, Individual Act of Kindness Recognition), and Howard Seay.

The Sheriff's Department takes great pride in anyone who successfully completes the Reserve Deputy Program. It was established in February 2001. Initially, 20 Reservists were authorized to focus on providing direct support to the Uniform Patrol Division. Reservists serve in a volunteer non-paid capacity and many have unique civilian occupations which include knowledge, skills and abilities different from those that might be expected in law enforcement. Reservists are sworn, uniformed law enforcement officers who work with the Uniform Patrol Division. They primarily ride with Deputies, thus providing a two-person patrol unit. As back up officers they enhance the safety of the unit and often eliminate the need and time necessary to bring another unit to a situation. That further allows other units to stay in their areas and respond to more calls for service or assistance. Qualifications to be a Reservist are essentially the same as those of Regular Deputies. This maintains the same high standard for all sworn elements of the Department.

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