%Home — Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (2024)

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office was formed in February 1791 when Kershaw County was founded. The South Carolina General Assembly designated Kershaw County from portions of Claremont, Fairfield, Lancaster, Richland counties and naming in honor of Joseph Kershaw. Camden, oldest inland city in South Carolina, was named county seat. Joseph Kershaw Jr., son of Joseph Kershaw, was selected the first Sheriff of Kershaw County in 1791. In 1799, the county court system in South Carolina was abolished and Kershaw County became known as Kershaw District. The term county was not resumed until 1868.

The Courthouse at the corner of Broad and King Streets in Camden and the Jail opposite the Courthouse were completed in 1771. The first session of Court for the Camden District was in held in 1772. The Courthouse and Jail both burned in 1779.

The Jail on the corner Broad and King Streets was rebuilt in 1791 after it was damaged by a fire in 1779 but again was destroyed by fire in 1812. A year later, the Courthouse across from the Jail was rebuilt after 1779 fire.

The Kershaw District Courthouse on the corner of Broad and King Streets in Camden was completed in 1827 and named after renowned architect Robert Mills. The Robert Mills Courthouse was renovated in 1847 and functioned in its original capacity until 1906.

Robert Mills Courthouse

On April 20, 1915, Governor Richard I. Manning III charged Sheriff W.W. Huckabee with neglect of duty because he had refused to enforce the law against the unlawful sale of liquor in Kershaw County. Sheriff Huckabee was suspended from office and temporarily replaced by Coroner G.L. Dixon. Governor Manning appointed Isaac C. Hough to serve Huckabee’s term of office. In December 1915, the State Supreme Court ruled that the governor did not have the authority to remove Sheriff Huckabee and appoint his successor and Sheriff Huckabee returned to office.

In 1940, Deputy J.H. McLeod Jr. attended training administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and helped incorporate new fingerprinting techniques used in the county. Deputy McLeod was the son of Sheriff J.H. McLeod. The Sheriff and his family lived in the newly constructed jail on Lafayette Avenue. The seventy-thousand-dollar jail was built with Work Projects Administration (WPA) labor and housed up to fifty prisoners. Sheriff McLeod died in office on March 19, 1945 and his wife was appointed Sheriff to serve out his remaining term when Gilliam “Gib” DeBruhl was elected Sheriff in November 1946.

After Sheriff Gib Debruhl died in office July 1950, the Kershaw County Rural Police Department established in 1951. Issues of how the county’s law enforcement should be run concerned the citizens every election since the inception of the Kershaw County Rural Police Department. In June 1960, Kershaw County citizens voted overwhelmingly in a special referendum to return county’s law enforcement powers to the Sheriff.

All powers were returned to Sheriff David “Footsie” Hilton in January 1961. Sheriff Hilton stated his department would operate with nine deputies. Olin Watkins would serve as Chief Deputy. Other deputies were Hector DeBruhl, Ernest West,Leslie Moak, Harvey Horton, all former member of the Rural Police Department, and L. E. Smith, Clyde Peake, Oscar Edwards Coates and Pat Orr. A total of eight squad cars, including the Sheriff’s, would be in used by the department.

In the fall of 1952, the Kershaw County Rural Police Department completed the radio station, KIF820. The new radio station allowed officers to be reached in their patrol more quickly and unerringly anywhere in Kershaw County, according to Sheriff Eugene Moseley. The county was paying $318 per month for use of the city radio facilities and was not as efficient as the city transmitter because of the lack of carrying power. The purchase and installation of the short-wave equipment would amount to $2000 and would pay for itself over a year’s time.

In 1966, Louis L. “Hector” DeBruhl was elected Sheriff of Kershaw County. Sheriff Hector DeBruhl’s father served as Sheriff of Kershaw County from 1946 until his death in 1950. Sheriff Hector DeBruhl was the youngest sheriff in the state (31) when he was first elected, served longer than any sheriff in the history of Kershaw County, and was the senior sheriff in South Carolina at the time of his retirement. The Sheriff’s living quarters are in the same building which houses the county jail. The Sheriff had lived in Sheriff’s living quarters before when his father served as the Sheriff of Kershaw County.

On the day Sheriff DeBruhl took office, he started a county-wide crack-down on bootleggers and moonshiners. Sheriff’s DeBruhl’s biggest raid was a 27-barrel operation with 1485 gallons of mash. Blue dome lights were installed on top of all patrol cars and marked them with the proper decals.

In January 1976, a Citizen’s Band (CB) radio was installed in Sheriff Hector Debruhl’s patrol car. The department had three CB radios installed in patrol cars and one base unit at the Sheriff’s Office. The department monitored Channel 9, the emergency channel. The Sheriff urged citizens to user channel 9 on their CB radio to notify the sheriff’s office if they witnessed a wreck or other incident.

Sheriff Hector DeBruhl, January 1976

In December 1983, video tape equipment was installed at the Kershaw County Detention Center to assist in Driving Under the Influence arrests while conducting Breathalyzer tests. Taping of DUI suspects was made possible by the installation of a camera and monitor in the jail purchased by the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. According to Fifth Circuit Solicitor James Anders, one camera system was installed in Richland County about three years earlier and resulted in his office trying about 25 percent less cases than in the past. The camera and equipment cost about $3000.

In December 1996, Sheriff Steve McCaskill completed the 187th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff McCaskill lived in a college-like dorm at the academy during his 11-week stay. The training consisted of forensics, interviewing and interrogation, leadership ethics and decision making, management of death investigations, and legal issues in law enforcement administration. According to Sheriff McCaskill, he is the second member to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office to attend the FBI National Academy. Olin Watkins attended the 55th session in 1954.

In January 1992, Kershaw County deputies were introduced to newest weapon for law enforcement, Cap-Stun. Cayenne pepper is the main ingredient in Cap-Stun and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office was the first department in South Carolina to adopt the spray. To qualify to carry Cap-Stun, deputies had to be sprayed with the alcohol-based substance which causes severe burning in the eyes and facial areas, causes the eyes to immediately shut, and causes coughing, gagging, and shortness of breath.

In September 2007, the sheriff’s office moved into the Kershaw County Law Enforcement Center in Lugoff. The 22,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility housed all functions of the sheriff’s office, including investigations, civil process, and patrol. The facility also housed the coroner’s office and a morgue. Additional spaces included observation rooms, evidence storage space, and polygraph testing and fingerprinting areas.

Kershaw County Law Enforcement Center, September 2007

In March of 2002, Captain David Thomley became the first polygraph examiner for the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office. Captain Thomley completed eight weeks of training with the American International Institute of Polygraph in Atlanta. Previously, the sheriff’s office had to rely on the polygraph examiner from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to be available for the tests, which would take up two weeks. Now the tests are available within hours.

In June of 2004, Kershaw County deputies were introduced to the newest weapon in war on crime, Tasers. The sheriff’s office purchased twelve (12) M26 Taser units to certified deputies to be used in the field. The Taser resembles a pistol, fired two small barbs into a subject’s body or clothes. The barbs, propelled by air cartridges, sent 50,000 volts of electricity between the two probes, immobilizing the subject on the spot. Each deputy received a six-hour block of instruction on the use of the Taser and they also learn first-hand how the electrical muscular disruption devices works. Each deputy had to take the 5 second “ride” to feel the full effects of the Taser. Today, all uniformed officers and investigators are issued and carry the X26P Taser.

Lt. Danny Templar, May 2015, with Taser Axon Flex Body-Worn Camera

In May 2015, Sheriff Jim Matthews implemented the Body-Worn Camera program to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office. At the time, state lawmakers were debating a bill that would require law enforcement to wear body-worn cameras due to recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Sheriff Matthews wanted to get ahead of the curve and instructed Lt. Danny Templar to conduct research on current body-worn cameras. Only a few law enforcement agencies in South Carolina were utilizing body-worn cameras. After testing different body-worn cameras, the sheriff’s office opted to purchase Taser Axon Flex body worn cameras. On June 10, 2015, the new Body-Worn Camera law was signed into law.

In January 2022, the Kershaw County had a School Resource Officer (SRO) in every Kershaw County School for the first time in history. Despite everything we had to deal with over the past few years (COVID, civil unrest, protests, tornado, earthquakes, budgetary restraints, etc), your KCSO never lost sight of the goal to have an SRO in every school. We accomplished the goal without additional taxes to our citizens. It was done through coordinated efforts of your Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan, Kershaw County School District Superintendent Shane Robbins, Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd, Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter, Camden City Administrator Mel Pearson, and SC Governor Henry McMaster.

“We will continue doing everything we can to keep our schools as safe as possible in Kershaw County.”

- Sheriff Lee Boan

On December 1st, 2023 the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office was officially named a state-accredited law enforcement agency by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Board. The process took about four years and included the successful completion of over 300 required standards. Only 12.5% (34 of 272) of South Carolina Law Enforcement agencies are SCLEA accredited.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation (SCLEA) is the official South Carolina state accrediting body and is responsible for administrative tasks associated with accreditation. Since 1999 SCLEA has been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of law enforcement accreditation. The SCLEA Accreditation Program is a voluntary initiative for professional improvement, fashioned in ways that best meet local needs while simultaneously expressing commitment to professional law enforcement practices. Standards for the program are developed from multiple sources, including South Carolina State Law, stakeholder expertise and best business practices. The standards are designed to be attainable for all South Carolina agencies, regardless of size. All SCLEA standards are mandatory and have specific requirements the agency must address, the actual way the standards are met is determined by the agency CEO. The program is managed and directed by the governing council of South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc., a non-profit corporation. Council members meet quarterly to oversee the accreditation process and to officially accredit agencies that have proven their adherence to the program's meticulous review process.

Kershaw County’s Sheriff By Date

Joseph Kershaw Jr. 1791-1798

John Fisher 1798-1800

Benjamin Bineham 1800-1804

Reuben Arthur 1804-1808

Turner Starke 1808-1812

Benjamin Bineham 1812

Francis Stephen Lee 1812-1816

Matthew C. Wiggins 1817-1821

James Willis Cantey 1821-1823

J.S. Nettles 1823-1828

John Goodwin 1828-1834

John C. West 1834-1837

William Rosser 1837-1840

Benjamin Gass 1840-1842

J. Baskin 1842-1844

M. M. Levy 1844-1847

Thomas J. Warren 1847-1851

John Ingram 1851-1853

Thomas Baskin 1853-1855

Edwin Barnes 1855-1859

E.E. Sill 1859-1862

Duncan Sheorn 1862-1866

E.E. Sill 1866-1868

James Philip Boswell 1868-1873

Samuel Place 1873-1875

John Doby 1875-1882

James L. Haile 1882-1892

Ross Brooks Williams 1892-1900

John Sidney Trantham 1900-1912

William W. Huckabee 1912-1917

I.C. “Ike” Hough 1917-1918

Grover C. Welsh 1918-1926

John Henry McLeod 1926-1945

Mrs. John H. (Maggie) McLeod 1945-1946

Gilliam Burt “Gib” DeBruhl 1946-1951

Eugene L. Moseley 1951-1954

David E. Hilton 1954-1966

L.L. “Hector” DeBruhl 1966-1990

Jerry Lee Horton 1991-1994

Steve McCaskill 1995-2010

Jim Matthews 2011-2018

Lee Boan 2019-

%Home — Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (2024)


What is the mission statement of the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office? ›

Mission Statement. It is the Mission of the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office to partner with our community to provide quality public safety and public service to all citizens and visitors of Kershaw County. We are dedicated to conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the trust that has been placed upon us.

What is the crime rate in Kershaw County SC? ›

The crime rate in Kershaw is considerably higher than the national average across all communities in America from the largest to the smallest, although at 14 crimes per one thousand residents, it is not among the communities with the very highest crime rate.

What are two job responsibilities a sheriff's department has that the majority of police departments do not? ›

In California, the sheriffs department in a county is in charge of running the county jail as well as security at the county's state courts. In California, the sheriffs department is also the one who is involved in the legal process of the courts.

What is the mission statement of the Bay County Sheriff's Office? ›


What powers do Alberta sheriffs have? ›

Sheriffs in Alberta are responsible for transporting inmates, enforcing wildlife conservation laws, and patrolling highways. They have recently seen their work expanded to include fugitive apprehension, impaired driving and distracted driving cases, and helping police keep order in downtown Edmonton and Calgary.

Are Alberta sheriffs peace officers? ›

Under the authority of the Peace Officer Act, Alberta Sheriffs are provincial peace officers with jurisdiction over the province of Alberta. The premier of Alberta has the authority to grant emergency police powers to all Alberta sheriffs during major emergencies within the province.

Is Kershaw County SC a good place to live? ›

Kershaw County is located in South Carolina with a population of 65,779. Kershaw County is one of the best places to live in South Carolina. In Kershaw County, most residents own their homes. Many families and young professionals live in Kershaw County and residents tend to be conservative.

Is Kershaw, SC a good place to live? ›

I always found Kershaw to be a comfortable, country town. I enjoy it here. What I like about Kershaw is the small town community and how close everyone is. Whenever you are going somewhere you never meet a stranger and everyone is very supportive of the small town businesses.

What county in SC has the highest crime rate? ›

Here's how the counties in South Carolina stack up: Dillon County is the most crime-ridden county, with 1,010.7 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The most common crime is assaults, with 251 total reported cases. Marlboro County follows with 953.0 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Is a Sheriff more powerful than the police? ›

6. What is the difference between a Sheriff and a Police Chief? A Sheriff is generally (but not always) the highest, usually elected, law-enforcement officer of a county. Chiefs of Police usually are municipal employees who owe their allegiance to a city.

What is the difference between a Sheriff and a cop? ›

The key differences between a sheriff and the police lie in their jurisdiction, leadership structures, and the scope of their responsibilities. The police and sheriff difference can be small like they both enforce laws or large like the geographical area in which their jurisdiction covers.

What's the difference between a Sheriff and a deputy? ›

A sheriff is an elected law enforcement officer who will serve a term of service that is usually four years long. Deputy sheriffs work under the sheriff to enforce federal, state, and local laws within their jurisdiction.

How much does the Bay County Sheriff's Office pay? ›

The average Bay County Sheriff's Office salary ranges from approximately $37,000 per year for Assistant to $46,288 per year for Crime Scene Technician. Average Bay County Sheriff's Office hourly pay ranges from approximately $16.43 per hour for Auto Body Technician to $17.86 per hour for Licensed Practical Nurse.

What county is Panama City Beach in? ›

Panama City Beach, located in southwestern Bay County, is often referred to as "the island" because of these various bodies of water.

What does SF sheriff do? ›

The Sheriff's Office keeps people safe — inside and outside the county jails, in the buildings we help protect, and in the communities we serve. We help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives. We provide mutual aid to our law enforcement partners in emergencies and natural disasters.

What is Kershaw County School District mission statement? ›

Our mission is to educate all students for success.

What is the mission statement of the Alberta Sheriffs? ›

Sheriffs are dedicated to promoting safe and resilient communities. They perform a wide range of activities in collaboration with other law enforcement and policing partners in Alberta.

What is the mission statement of the Martin County Sheriff's Office? ›

Mission. Our mission is to serve and safeguard all persons in Martin County and ensure the quality of life for all through the effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement, detention and court services.

What is the mission statement of the Knox County Sheriff's Office? ›

Our Vision & Mission

The mission of the Knox County Sheriff's Office is to make a positive difference in the lives of the citizens of this community through the provision of effective and efficient law enforcement services while adhering to the ethical values and standards of the law enforcement profession.


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