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Monday, April 16, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department reserve deputies worked a total of 3,834 hours in the first quarter of 2012, saving Lexington County taxpayers more than $80,000. Reserve deputies volunteer their time to provide professional law enforcement services to the citizens of Lexington County.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said 30 reserve deputies currently volunteer their time to work with the Sheriff’s Department.

“Reserve deputies play a vital role in carrying out our agency’s mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County,” Metts said.

In the first quarter of 2012, reserve deputies worked 293 patrol shifts and answered 1,845 calls for help from citizens in Lexington County, Metts said. The reserve officers also worked 105 shifts at special events, such as festivals, holiday events and parades.

In the first quarter of 2012, reserve deputies wrote 289 incident reports, served 20 warrants and arrested 59 persons, Metts said. The reserve officers also issued 284 citations and warnings for traffic law violations and other offenses.

In the first quarter of 2012, reserve deputies worked a combined total of 3,834 hours, Metts said. That saved Lexington County taxpayers $88,642, based on an hourly rate of $23.12 for a full-time deputy’s annual salary and fringe benefits.

Metts led efforts to persuade the South Carolina General Assembly to permit citizens to serve as reserve law enforcement officers. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department was the first law enforcement agency in South Carolina to start a reserve officer program.

“Reserve deputies are a significant asset for the Sheriff’s Department,” Metts said. “They sacrifice time away from their families in order to supplement the number of full-time, sworn officers who are assigned to road patrol duties with our agency.”

Citizens who want to serve as a reserve deputy can call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230, Metts said. You should ask to speak with someone in personnel.

Applications for a reserve deputy position are available at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington, Metts said. Citizens also can download an application for a deputy position online at: www.lexingtonsheriff.com.

Under South Carolina law, reserve law enforcement officers must be 21 or older, with a clean criminal record, Metts said. They must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Prospective reserve deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department must pass a background investigation, polygraph examination, drug screening test and physical examination.

South Carolina law requires a reserve law enforcement officer to provide at least 60 hours of service every three months and complete at least four hours of training monthly, Metts said.

In order to be sworn in as law enforcement officers, reserve deputies must complete 202 hours of training that is required by South Carolina law and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department policy, Metts said. Reserve deputies must complete training that is comparable to the training that the Sheriff’s Department provides to full-time, sworn officers.

During their first year of service, reserve deputies must complete field training and patrol with a full-time, sworn officer, Metts said. Reserve officers must receive approval from the sheriff before they can patrol on their own. Reserve deputies who are allowed to work on their own must maintain radio contact with and report to a shift supervisor who is a sworn officer.

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