Richland County Sheriff’s Department celebrates 10 new additions at graduation ceremony
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The Richland County Sheriff’s Department employs more than 700 uniformed officers.
Friday, 10 more deputies joined their ranks.
“A lot of people think people don’t want to be cops. I think today proves that wrong. Here’s 10 new Richland County deputies who are starting and are going to hit the ground running,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
Sheriff Lott says his department is not dealing with the recruiting issues that some agencies are facing.
“We’re not having the problems that other parts of the country are having at attracting good people,” Lott said. “We don’t do quantity. We do quality.”
Lott believes he now has 10 quality new additions to the department.
“The one of the most rewarding things I get to do is watch people grow in this profession,” Lott said. “They’re just starting their career but they’re going to be the faces of this progression for many years. We’re proud of all of them.”
One of Friday’s graduates was Taylor Savage. She received the JP Strom Award, the highest honor for an academy graduate.
“I just love that this is a job where I can learn every day,” Savage said. “I’m the type of person who constantly needs to be doing something. I get to learn every day and help people.”
She has no family in law enforcement but has picked up skills quickly.
“Training was a lot of fun here. We learned a lot over the past eight weeks,” the recent graduate said. “I enjoyed the DT week. I train in jiu-jitsu so I got to touch on a lot of those skills. I loved our legal skills course. It was a lot of information but the teachers were great. The instructors made sure we knew all the material.”
Savage says dedication is required from anyone who comes to the training academy.
“Don’t mess around,” she advises. “A lot of people mess around and it doesn’t get them far. Come here to learn and study but also have a good time. Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Sheriff Lott, who served as the graduation speaker, gave the new deputies this advice.
“Soak up everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” the sheriff said. “Know that it’s a learning process every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day or 48th year. I’m still learning.”