Year of birth: 1959
Number of years living in the county you seek to represent: 35
Family (name of spouse, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown children): Single; three grown children in Lexington County
Education: Airport High School Graduate; FBI National Academy Graduated in 1995; FBI Command College; Graduate of SC Criminal Justice Academy Police Chief’s School; Secret Service Dignitary Protection School
Current occupation/employer: West Columbia Police Department
Employment, military and volunteer history:
EMPLOYMENT - SC Department of Corrections, Richland County Detention Center, City of West Columbia Police Department (for last 30 years)
VOLUNTEER - Former President of the Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association; Member of LRADAC Law Enforcement Advisory Committee; Founder of West Columbia Police Officers Foundation; Fugitive Marshall Task Force; SLED’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee; Special Deputy for Operation Intercept; Member of SC Law Enforcement Association for 30 years; Lexington County Narcotics Enforcement Team Board;
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, when and where: N/A
Please list year and office of any unsuccessful runs for public office: N/A; I’ve never run
Other political and government experience: 17 years as West Columbia Police Chief, 30 Years (total) with the City of West Columbia
Key endorsements you’ve received: 600 members have signed on to my Lexington County Citizens Committee to Elect Dennis Tyndall. As you will see below, I don’t think the office of Sheriff should be political. It should be about the people.
1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position? (Be specific.)
It isn’t just about having 30 years of experience. I have participated in every aspect of the law enforcement system. I manage a team of officers and a large department.
The decisions I make impact a lot of lives. The WCPD is like a family. These men and women see very traumatic things every day. It is my job to put policies and precautions in place to keep them safe and help them deal with what they see in the field. I am the only candidate that has managed a police force. That is exactly what a Sheriff has to know how to do.
2. What will be your top three priorities if you are elected?
1) Earn Trust. Especially over the last few months, the citizens’ trust in the top law enforcement position in the county has been destroyed. The elephant in the room is the corruption and the nepotism among the inner circle in Lexington County. If elected the people will see that I am not the “establishment” pick and that I will work hard to earn back the trust of the people. I am passionate about law enforcement; and therefore I take it personal that there is such distrust in a county I love. It matters to me. And I will work to fix it.
2) Accountable to Taxpayers. Cities and counties have to disclose spending on their websites. Why not a Sheriff’s office with a $20 million budget? I think this is part of earning trust. I won’t be a Sheriff that sits at a desk all day. I will be open, honest and will make sure that the Sheriff’s office remains an office to protect the people. It is important that we serve and protect the citizens, their rights, their families and their businesses.
3) Support My Officers; Support Nearby Law Enforcement Entities. This isn’t about “cleaning house” and “instilling a new squad”. This is about putting programs and policies in place where officers feel safe, appreciated and that they are treated fairly. Being a police officer means putting your life on the line. There is no place for favoritism or politics. I will spend time with every officer. I will earn their trust and address their concerns. I will also spend time in every community in our county and determine how we as a Sheriff’s office can work hand-in-hand with them. We need work together to immediately lower response times to the rural areas in our county. The needs in Red Bank are different than the needs of Irmo or Chapin. There needs to be a plan in place to assist officers effectively in each local entity and all rural areas.
3. How will your political positions and affiliation influence the way you police?
It won’t. I will approach it just as I have approached it as the West Columbia Police Chief. The Office of Sheriff should treat all people equally in the eyes of the law. In my opinion, it should not even be a partisan election. Law enforcement should have nothing to do with politics. Period.
4. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics complaint filed against you? If so, please give the details.
5. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
6. Are there any personal details about you that voters would be interested in knowing?
I am firm but fair. I don’t get excited easily which is part of my law enforcement training. I don’t hold grudges; but trust and loyalty matter. I am an outdoorsman that loves to hunt, fish, boat and be outdoors. That is how I relax and enjoy the little bit of free time I have.
A few months ago I was at an event in Gaston. A woman at the event was choking on something she was eating. Again, thanks to my training, I was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her. It was gratifying to know I had the training to save someone’s life.
In 1989 I was the lead investigator on the case of a murder victim named Kimberly Quinn. I will never forget it. This woman was brutally dismembered and killed. Both of her killers were convicted and received the death penalty for what they did.
I share those two stories to give more insight on the range of of things I have seen and experienced in my 30 years of law enforcement. I’m not a politician. I will never been great at asking for money, building a campaign war chest and participating in every festival, event and parade known to man. But I am proud of my law enforcement experience, my ability to connect with people and help them and my ability to act swiftly and save lives.