In 1786, Greenville County was formed. Greenville County was part of the Ninety Six District and was serviced by the Sheriff of that District. In 1791 a new district was formed to include Greenville and Pendleton Counties. This was named the Washington District and it existed until 1799. In 1795 Robert Maxwell, a Revolutionary War hero, was appointed as Sheriff of the District. He lived in Greenville County, and was killed by an ambush on November 10, 1797 while crossing the Saluda River shoals where Piedmont Mill Dam was later built. His grave is located fifteen miles south of Greenville, near Ware Place. During this time many important public officials, including the Sheriff, were elected to their position by the Legislature. The people of South Carolina, however, felt that this important position should answer directly to them for his actions and performance. In 1808, legislation was enacted to provide for the election of the Sheriff by the citizens of the county, rather than by politicians. This method of election was placed into our State Constitution in 1868. The Office of Sheriff in Greenville County began. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has transformed from the ancient office created over a thousand years ago in England, to a New World colony, to a frontier county, to a modern, computerized law enforcement agency serving a busy metropolitan county of over 451,000 residents.
The Administrative Services Division is the Executive Branch of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office which oversees the entire operation of the Sheriff’s Office.The fifty-two employees assigned to the Administrative Services Division provide support to the following units, which comprise this division:
This unit maintains our Law Enforcement Accreditation which is granted by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in South Carolina to gain national accreditation in 1988 and has maintained this distinction ever since. National Accreditation insures that the citizens of Greenville County receive consistent, professional law enforcement services from the employees of the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office seeks out grant funding which provides equipment and training while saving local tax dollars. Over the years many important programs have been funded through grant money.
The Center for Advanced Training provides in-service and advanced training for all sworn deputies of the Sheriff’s Office. In addition, the training center was the second law enforcement agency in the state chosen as a distance learning lab for the Criminal Justice Academy. This allows federal, state and local law enforcement to receive training without having to travel; thus allowing more officers to receive training while reducing the costs associated with training. The CAT has classroom space along with state of the art firing and driving ranges.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Chaplains serve the deputies of Greenville County. They provide Spiritual support and guidance, as well as stress counseling and stress debriefs. They also support the law enforcement community after hours and through family support and services.
In June 1983, a group of concerned citizens and local media joined with law enforcement to form the County’s first Crime Stoppers program. Our local chapter was modeled after the original Crime Stoppers program from 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By following their lead, Greenville’s Crime Stoppers chapter has become successful and rewarding. Since the beginning of the Greenville Crime Stoppers program, countless callers have given information about criminal activity in their area. With this information, more than 5400 cases have been cleared, and more than 1700 individuals have been arrested. These arrests have led to the recovery of more than one million dollars of stolen goods. Even the availability of illegal drugs has been affected, since drugs valued at more than one million dollars were recovered due to Crime Stoppers leads.
E-911 provides quality 911 services to the residents of Greenville County. This office also maintains the county’s Master Street Guide and provides support to all Public Safety Answering Points within the county.
The role of Emergency Management is to coordinate resources and efforts to prepare for the response to large scale emergencies and disasters. The county’s Emergency Operations Center is maintained by this group of employees.
The Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit consists of 14 highly trained canines and their handlers. The K-9’s are called upon frequently to conduct building searches, apprehend suspects, search for stolen items, guns and illegal drugs. They also assist in the search for lost or missing individuals.
The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for investigating employee related complaints and completing readiness inspections. In addition, polygraph examinations are performed for new hires and for criminal investigations.
The Public Affairs Unit is responsible for handling media inquiries, press releases, press conferences, public records requests and many special projects.
Safe Communities is dedicated to communicating our Public Safety Mission to the community while responding to the safety concerns of our citizens. This unit participates in numerous coalitions addressing issues of crime prevention, domestic violence, traffic safety and underage drinking.
The Technical Services Unit provides support services to deputies through geographical mapping, crime analysis and audio, photographic and video analysis. These services are critical to the successful conclusion of many cases.
The Community Services Division is tasked with handling special projects within the Sheriff’s Office. It encompasses several specialized units for different approaches to law enforcement. The units which make up the Community Services Division are Property Crimes, Community Patrol, Crime Prevention, Directed Patrol, Environmental Enforcement, Gang Investigations, School Enforcement, Swamp Rabbit Trail Patrol, Traffic Enforcement, Vice/Narcotics and Cadets.
These deputies are assigned to various communities throughout Greenville County. Their primary mission is to resolve problems in those areas. They are often called upon to team up with other units to implement community strategies to resolve citizen’s complaints. Deputies continually complete the verification of Sex Offender Addresses, Zest Quest with the schools, Compliance Checks with Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws, and presentations with local Neighborhood Watch Groups. They serve on a variety of committees or coalitions.
As Communities seek ways to become involved in crime prevention, the Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in the requests for Neighborhood Watch and other safety programs. This unit can provide training on internet safety, personal safety, “stranger danger,” senior citizen safety, and many other programs.
The Directed Patrol Unit (DPU) focuses on street level issues that affect the community as a whole. This ranges from undercover operations, targeting prostitution, and street level drug sales to nuisance business complaints. This unit has the flexibility and knowledge to deal with whatever problems arise as well as assist in locating people and arresting those with outstanding warrants. They are also used to identify potential gang members, which provides information to investigators and makes an impact on gang activities seen across the county.
The Environmental Services Unit responds to and investigates all crimes involving litter and hazardous dumping within the county. They also oversee the public service workers in their clean-up activities, as well as assisting Vice and Narcotics with the clean-up of Methamphetamine manufacturing sites which are considered hazardous materials sites.
The Property Crimes Unit investigates burglaries, auto-breakings, larcenies, and other property related offenses. There are 12 investigators assigned to the Property Crimes Unit.
School Resource Officers (SROs) are law enforcement officers assigned to the school district. This unit is made up of high school and middle school SROs as well as a floating SRO, and three investigators. Not only does this unit serve the 9 middle schools and 7 high schools in the county, it also serves 33 elementary schools, 2 career centers, 3 alternative schools, 2 Child Development Centers, 2 specialized educational facilities and provides 74 crossing guards for elementary and middle schools in Greenville County.
An SRO’s responsibilities include; law enforcement, teaching law related classes, counseling students, and educating parents and staff. The three investigators investigate crimes that occur in locations where an SRO is not present, handle school district employee allegations and conduct in-depth investigations that would otherwise pull an SRO away from their assigned school. The investigators also conduct educational presentations concerning gangs and drugs.
Traffic Enforcement patrols the highways and roadways of Greenville County. This group of 16 deputies focuses their efforts on reducing the number traffic related fatalities and its largest contributing factor which is Driving Under the Influence.
The Traffic Unit is a participating member of multi-jurisdictional task forces. Some of these task forces are county level and some are state level. They participate in several state and national traffic campaigns such as Sober or Slammer, Buckle Up South Carolina, HEAT and Operation Thunderbolt.
The Vice and Narcotics Unit conducts investigations related to illegal drugs and gambling in Greenville County. They continue to work more highly complex cases involving multiple defendants with more emphasis placed on investigating and dismantling entire organizations. Many investigations are conducted with state and federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and ATF. Additionally, they maintain a full-time position with the DEA Task Force. This allows ready access to a wide variety of information and asset sharing programs that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. In addition, this has resulted in numerous indictments related on federal drug charges. The Vice & waterproof bag; Narcotics Unit is also tasked with investigating methamphetamine cases and suspected meth labs within the county.
The Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program is an extension of the Boy Scouts Explorer program. The Cadet Program allows teens interested in law enforcement to receive a firsthand account of the profession. The cadets have been involved with multiple community service events and several hundred hours of community service work. Cadets participate in a large number of training classes that teach them a variety of law enforcement skills and prepare them for careers in criminal justice.
Uniform Patrol is the front line in the battle against crime in Greenville County. Uniform Patrol is where new deputies start their career. Typically the new deputies start with orientation before going to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for twelve weeks of intensive training. The deputies return to Uniform Patrol for an equally intensive 14 weeks of field training before they assume duties as a solo unit.
The Uniform Patrol Division consists of Uniform Deputies, Follow-up Team and Communications Center.
Uniform Patrol deputies are the first responders to emergency and non-emergency dispatched calls for service and incidents they observe while on patrol. Uniform Patrol deputies are assigned to 5 platoons. Four platoons rotate between day and night shifts every six weeks while the fifth platoon is assigned to work an overlapping shift during the highest call volume times of the day. All deputies work 12-hour shifts to ensure the maximum coverage within the beat areas they are working.
The Follow-up team consists of 3 uniformed deputies. The team provides support to Uniform Patrol Deputies by aiding in street level investigations. This frees up Uniform Patrol Deputies to respond to more calls for service from the community. Multiple cases have been cleared and many items have been seized due to the extra time these officers were able to dedicate to these cases.
The Communications Center consists of call takers, dispatchers, dispatch training officers, false alarm billing, NCIC teletype, and tape research. Working in communications is a very demanding and critical job within law enforcement and the dispatchers are the lifeline to the deputies in the field. They process, on average, over 600,000 calls and dispatch over 190,000 calls for service per year.
The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is composed of 40 Sworn Full Time Deputies and 13 Civilian Employees. This Division is compiled of 14 different units which are: Arson, Auto Theft, Cold Case, Crimes Against Children, Data Recovery, Economic Crimes, Family Violence, Homicide, Missing Persons, Juvenile Crimes, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Sex Offender Registry, and Victim/Witness Advocates.
The Arson Unit consists of two full-time investigators who investigate cases involving burned property and/or explosions. They are also available to all the Fire Chiefs of Greenville County when fires are deemed suspicious in nature.
The Auto Theft Unit investigates cases of Auto Theft, Use of Vehicle without Owner’s Consent, and Chop Shops stainless steel water bottle bpa free. This unit is staffed with four full-time investigators.
The Cold Case Unit investigates unsolved violent crimes. The investigators review the original case file, re-interview witnesses and victims and follow up on any new leads. New forensic techniques applied to evidence can add a fresh perspective. Some current investigations date back into the 1960s.
In recognition of the fact that the victims of sexual assault are now predominantly children and that these investigations along with child abuse and neglect cases are similar in nature, the Crimes against Children Unit was created.
The Data Recovery Unit investigates computer crimes and internet predator cases within Greenville County. They also have the ability to retrieve evidentiary data from computers and phones which is crucial in the successful prosecution of criminal cases. The Data Recovery investigators also conduct monthly internet safety classes upon request.
The Economic Crimes Unit investigates cases of Fraud, Forgery and Computer Crimes. This unit consists of five investigators.
The Family Violence Unit investigates serious cases of Domestic Abuse. These investigators tie cases together for graduated sentences during prosecution in court.
The Homicide Unit investigates homicides, suicides, accidental and natural deaths, attempted suicides, missing persons and serious assaults. This unit consists of seven investigators who are on call day and night.
The Youth Services Unit investigates crimes involving the arrest of juveniles, as well as child neglect or abuse cases. This unit has five full-time investigators who work closely with the Department of Social Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Juvenile Solicitor with Family Court.
The Missing Persons Unit works to locate adults that have been reported missing in Greenville County.
The Robbery Unit investigates cases of Armed Robbery, Strong Arm Robbery, Attempted Armed Robbery and Carjacking. This unit is staffed with four full-time investigators.
The Sex Crimes Unit investigates cases of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Attempted Criminal Sexual Conduct, Lewd Act Offenses, Indecent Exposure, and Sexual Assaults. This unit is staffed with three full-time investigators.
The Sex Offender Registry maintains current contact and location information on all convicted Sex Offenders within Greenville County, including the municipalities.
The Victim Advocates Unit helps the victims of crimes from the incident date all the way through the trial. The role of an advocate is quite unique. Though they are not investigators, their role in the Criminal Justice System is quite simple. They guide survivors of crime through the aftermath of the traumatic event 24 hours a day through crisis intervention, financial assistance, referrals to service agencies in our area. They also provide information on the Criminal Justice System, as well as serving as a liaison between the survivor and the investigator.
The Judicial Services Division is responsible for arrest warrant service, court security, service of civil processes, fugitive apprehension and extradition, arrest warrant and courtesy summons data entry and maintenance, and prisoner and mental health transports.
The deputies assigned to the Civil Process Unit serve civil papers throughout Greenville County. These papers include Orders of Protection, Orders of Immediate Possession, Writ of Assistance, Decree of Foreclosure and Sales, and Property Levees.
Our court deputies work tirelessly to ensure secure courthouses for judges, courthouse employees, and our citizens. Applying a “team” approach, our courthouses have become statewide models. Family Court and General Sessions Court deputies screen over 365,000 people annually through their magnetometers.
The Extradition Unit travels across the United States to bring offenders to justice. Deputies must make arrangements with other agencies and secure the most appropriate method of travel for return to Greenville County for prosecution.
The Fugitive Unit is tasked with the apprehension of Greenville’s most dangerous defendants. They work with several of the Sheriff’s Office units to complete their assignments.
Deputies are tasked with transporting individuals throughout the state. Over 14,000 prisoners a year are transported between State Department of Corrections facilities and local courtrooms. Juvenile Offenders are transported to and from Department of Juvenile Justice facilities. Deputies also transport court ordered mental patients to and from mental hospitals within the state.
The Warrants Unit is responsible for the receipt, entry, service and return of arrest warrants within Greenville County.