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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts will swear in three additional reserve deputies who will volunteer their time to work with full-time deputies who are employed by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Metts will administer the oath of office to the three reserve deputies during a ceremony that will be conducted at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20 at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

Daniel Horton, Sr., 42, of Lexington; Thomas Craig Rollings, Jr., 41, of Sandy Run; and Gregory G. Wilson, 35, of Lexington, completed a reserve law enforcement officer training class that the Sheriff’s Department conducted, Metts said. Horton, Rollings and Wilson completed training that is comparable to the training provided to full-time deputies. Horton, Rollings and Wilson also passed a written test administered by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

Horton is employed as a transportation manager with a company that manufactures beverages, Metts said. Rollings is employed as a production supervisor with a company that manufactures equipment for railroads and transit lines. Wilson is employed as a quality and food safety manager for a company that manufactures food for animals who are household pets.

Horton, Rollings and Wilson will join 26 reserve deputies who already volunteered their time to work with full-time deputies, Metts said.

“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. “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.”

In 2012, reserve deputies worked a total of 15,070 hours with the Sheriff’s Department, Metts said. That saved taxpayers $349,774, based on an hourly rate of $23.21 for a full-time deputy’s annual salary and fringe benefits.

In 2012, reserve deputies worked a total of 1,181 patrol shifts and answered 6,891 calls for help from citizens, Metts said. Reserve deputies prepared a total of 952 incident reports, issued a total of 996 citations and warnings, arrested a total of 224 persons and served a total of 268 warrants.

In 2012, reserve deputies worked a total of 537 shifts at special events, such as festivals, parades, holiday events and running events, Metts said.

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.

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. During their first year of service, reserve deputies must complete field training and patrol with a full-time, sworn officer. Reserve officers must receive approval from the sheriff before they can patrol on their own.

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