X
Administration

Message From Sheriff Faile

"As Sheriff of Lancaster County, I consider it an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Lancaster County. My number one priority is professionalism and the core values listed below are the foundation of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office."

Honesty
We are honest in all we say and do. Honesty is one of the most important values. Honesty is the basis for all good relationships and our success in law enforcement comes from building strong, honest relationships with our community.

Respect
We treat people with respect and dignity. Respect has to be earned and must be shown in return. We are part of the community we serve. Our families live here, work here, play here and attend schools here. We respect and honor the people in our community.

Equality
We enforce the laws of South Carolina equally across the board. We are sworn to enforce laws fairly. Laws apply to everyone equally, including ourselves.

Loyalty
We are loyal to the people we are sworn to protect, to the law and to our values. Loyalty is based on trust and respect. We will never compromise our loyalty to our responsibility and community.
  
Integrity
We ensure integrity in all we do. We are committed to the highest performance standards, conduct and truthfulness in our relationships.

Service
We serve the public in a professional, caring and efficient manner. Public service is a challenge we have to live up to every day and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s office embraces the challenge.

Our Accreditation Story

Sheriff’s Office Gets Accreditation (Office One of 44 in State to Receive Status)

It took months of preparation and hundreds of man hours, but the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office was recognized this week as it became one of only 44 state law enforcement agencies to earn its accreditation.

Speaking to a packed crowd at the Carole Ray Dowling Center near the University of South Carolina at Lancaster on Thursday morning, Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile thanked his officers and supporters for helping the sheriff’s office achieve the recognition.

Dozens of uniformed deputies and city police officers lined the room, listening to Faile accept the accreditation certificate from Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt.

Several local and state officials, including Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard, Lancaster Mayor Joe Shaw, Heath Springs Mayor Ann Taylor, County Council Chairwoman Kathy Sistare and state Rep. Deborah Long, R-District 45, were also in the crowd of more than 100 people.

DeWitt said the certificate was the culmination of months of hard work as Faile and the rest of his department took part in the voluntary S.C. Law Enforcement Accreditation program.

Created in 1999, the program is an initiative of the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association and the S.C. Police Chiefs’ Association. By meeting specific criteria and after successful inspections of the agency, the program is meant to increase an agency’s capabilities, provide better departmental management, and increase effectiveness and efficiency of services delivered.

Also, by receiving accreditation, the office becomes part of an elite group that shares the same distinction. DeWitt told the crowd about meeting Faile two years ago and how from the beginning Faile wanted his office to achieve accreditation. He said it didn’t take long for Faile to begin planning for the accreditation process. “I said, ‘you might want to slow down a bit,’ but I’ll tell you, this young man had all his eggs in one basket and all his bases covered and everything went well,” he said. When Faile scheduled both a mock and a real inspection, DeWitt said two of the “toughest” inspectors in the state were sent to conduct the inspections. “They came back and said everything went so smooth and we were so well-treated,” DeWitt said. “They said everybody had the greatest morale and all we can report to you is an excellent report. They passed with flying colors.”

“That’s a credit to you,” DeWitt said. “That was one of the best inspections for any agency going through this for the first time.” But this isn’t a one-time process, warned DeWitt. “Once you attain accreditation, it’s not good forever. You have to renew it every three years,” he said. “On the board where I sit, we phrase it this way: All right, you received accreditation and you’ve written your bible, but three years from now, you have to show us you are living by it.”

DeWitt also talked about what accreditation means for the sheriff’s office and the county. He said it means the sheriff’s office is a more professional agency, it will increase officer morale and it means better service for the citizens of Lancaster County.

Also impressive, he said, is there are 290 law enforcement agencies in the state and only 44 of them are accredited. He said the sheriff’s office is now No. 44. “My hat is off to you, Sheriff Faile,” he said. After accepting the accreditation certificate from DeWitt, Faile shared his excitement over achieving one of his long-term goals. “This is a very important day for the sheriff’s office and for Lancaster County,” Faile said. “Being an accredited agency recognizes our commitment to leadership, professionalism, standards and accountability.”

“When I created this as a goal for us, I knew we’d attain it because of the dedicated men and women at the sheriff’s office. All of the officers and staff can take credit for this accomplishment. We did it as a team,” he said.

Faile also thanked Lancaster County Council for supporting the sheriff’s office. “Without the resources, we couldn’t do our jobs,” he said. “Lancaster County will be known statewide as a place with first-class law enforcement and a model for others to follow.”

Dining on a spread of food provided by County Council after the ceremony, Deputy J.P. Catoe was one of several officers who expressed excitement about the recognition. “It’s a major accomplishment for our department,” Catoe said. “It gives us pride to know we are accredited statewide. This has taken a lot of hard work and dedication.” Sgt. James Whitaker shared Catoe’s sentiments. “We worked hard to get this. This was one of the sheriff’s goals and I was proud to be a part of the department,” Whitaker said. “It should be really good for the department and the county.”

After more than 30 years of service, Lt. Tawanna Barnes was also proud to see the accomplishment. “I’ve been with the sheriff’s office for 31 years and to know that before I leave we were accredited, that’s great,” Barnes said. “We just thank the Lord that it happened.”

The event was also important for Lancaster County Councilman Larry Honeycutt, who lauded the sheriff and his staff for their efforts. “It’s great for the sheriff’s office and wonderful for Lancaster County that we’ve been recognized as one of the best in the state,” Honeycutt said. “We’ve got a dynamic young sheriff and he’s determined to make this a sheriff’s department we can be proud of.”

Heath Springs Mayor Ann Taylor was so excited she wanted to cheer during the ceremony. “I just wanted to stand up and say “We’re No. 11,” Taylor said about the sheriff’s office becoming the 11th sheriff’s office in the state to be accredited. “I’m real proud of Lancaster County and glad to be a part of it.”

Undersheriff

The Undersheriff (Major Matt Shaw) reports directly to the Sheriff and is responsible for the oversight of day to day operations within the department. The Undersheriff acts for and on behalf of the Sheriff in his absence or whenever requested to do so. The Undersheriff supervises multiple divisions within the department through various supervisors and commanding officers. Major Shaw began his law enforcement career in 1999 at the City of Laurens Police Department.  Since coming to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office in 2001, Major Shaw has served the agency as a Patrol Deputy, Patrol Sergeant, Training Lieutenant, and SWAT Team Commander.  Major Shaw has served as the Undersheriff to Sheriff Faile since 2011.


Major Matt Shaw
jshaw@lacoso.net

P. O. Box 908
Lancaster, S. C. 29720
Phone: 803-313-2156

Judicial Services

The Judicial Services Unit is responsible for a variety of tasks including court security and civil process. The mission of the Judicial Services Unit is to provide safe and secure judicial services as well as administrative support and resources to ensure the efficient day to day operations within the Sheriff’s Office.

Court Security

The court security unit maintains security and order for the entire court system including the courtrooms of the Circuit Court, Magistrate’s Court and Family Court. Additionally, this unit must ensure the safe movement of inmates/prisoners to and from the Detention Center for court proceedings, provide support services to Judges as situations dictate, manage jurors both in the courtroom and when sequestered, and other related tasks and duties as required by the Courts.

Security checks are performed on all persons entering the Court System to include attorneys, private citizens, visitors, witnesses, petitioners, victims, media and others who may have business within the facilities.

When court is not in session, those assigned to court security help serve the growing number of civil and criminal judicial documents.

Civil Process

Constitutionally, the Sheriff of Lancaster County is responsible for carrying out the service of civil process within the jurisdiction of Lancaster County. Personnel assigned to civil process, execute and return to the courts the civil process which, is directed to the Sheriff for service.

Civil Process deputies serve all legal notices, summonses, orders, and other civil processes issued by the courts and other legal entities. It also supervises, and executes levies, sales, and seizure of property when ordered by the courts. Civil Process also serves child support rules, family court actions, subpoenas, arrest warrants, orders of protection, and many other forms of judicial process.

Judicial Services is comprised of 18 deputies assigned to either court security or civil process. The Judicial Services Unit is supervised by Lt. Monty Craig and Sgt. John Poovey.

Records

The Records Department is staffed by five full-time records clerks responsible for maintaining the integrity of all incident reports, accident reports, depositions and other vital documents necessary for daily operations. The Support Services Division supervises the Records Department.


Incident Reports

Citizens can obtain a copy of an incident report by visiting the Sheriff’s Office during operating hours of the Records Department.

Accident Reports

Citizens can obtain a copy of an accident report by visiting the Sheriff’s Office. The only accident reports available are the reports completed by the units assigned to that area. The Sheriff’s Office does not have access to accident reports completed by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Concealed Weapons Permits

Concealed weapons permits are issued and managed by the State Law Enforcement Division. More information may be obtained by Clicking Here.

Warrants

To protect the citizens of Lancaster County, outstanding warrants will not be discussed over the phone. If you believe there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, please visit the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office and the duty office will answer any questions you may have.

Background Checks

For employment or other requirements, you must visit the SLED website to obtain a background check. Please Click Here to obtain a background check.

Records Hours:

Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Closed on Holidays.

Any questions concerning incident reports may be directed to Shana Coates-Cawley at 803-313-2103.

Support Services

Under direction of Captain Eric Brown, the Support Services Division is the most diverse division within the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. This division is divided into a variety of specialized units and teams, which includes Training, Crime Prevention, Professional Standards, Records, Grants Administration, Special Operations, Information Technology and all Civilian Personnel. Each has its own unique function and responsibilities in the day to day function of the LCSO. All of the sections of Support Services Division require specialized training, a strong dedication to duty and the best supervision possible.

Training

As a Law Enforcement Agency, training is recognized as a critical facet of the Sheriff’s responsibility. The Training Officer insures a continual training program which is comprised of two elements: A) an ongoing in-service training cycle, and B) outside applicable training courses or seminars. Every Deputy Sheriff receives a minimum of 72 hours of in-service training each year consisting of topics which include firearms proficiency, use-of-force training, Legal Updates, CDV Updates, first aid, and other mandated training. These topics and mandated instruction are scheduled in monthly cycles where the particular subject matter is presented one day each week for four weeks until all division members have been scheduled to attend. Notices are commonly forwarded to all area local police agencies inviting them to attend any of the courses.

Certified Instructors

Several Deputy Sheriffs have been trained and certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as Police Instructors in specialized instruction and general police topics. They serve as in-service trainers and SCCJA Academy instructors, in addition to their regular assigned duties. They are often called to train officers throughout South Carolina.

Field Training Officers (FTO)

There are several Deputy Sheriffs certified as Field Training Officers, often referred to as F.T.O.s. The F.T.O. is assigned a Deputy Sheriff recruit who has graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. The F.T.O. trains and evaluates the assigned recruit on a daily basis for a period of up to eight weeks. Completion of the F.T.O. program is required for patrol assignment. Therefore, the F.T.O. is a critical component of the police officer training process.

Volunteer Program

Who are LACOSO volunteers?

A Lancaster County Sheriff Office volunteer is someone who is interested in helping ensure the safety of the citizens of Lancaster County. Volunteers are a vital part of our Sheriff Office. They help the department, the community, and also have the satisfaction of helping others.

What are the LACOSO volunteer requirements?

Opportunities for volunteers are provided without regard to religion, creed, race, national origin, age, sex or disability. All Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Each volunteer must complete an application, driver’s history check and criminal history check, an interview and a drug screen. Volunteers may also be required to submit a polygraph test prior to acceptance if the volunteer position involves sensitive security issues. These steps are taken to ensure that our volunteers adhere to the high standards set by our Sheriff Office.

What kinds of training will you receive?

Volunteers are required to complete a training and orientation session to become familiar with the policies of the department and their assigned position prior to placement. Volunteers must donate a minimum of 16 hours of service a month with a minimum of 6 months service. The first ninety days are probationary for the department and the volunteer. Some units have specific requirements. These are listed with the position description.

Mobile Radar Unit

Volunteers of the Mobile Radar Unit are responsible for the placement and maintenance of the mobile radar units in various divisions. These volunteers place the units in predetermined locations throughout Lancaster County. These volunteers must be able to donate their services in the early morning and/or late afternoon hours. These volunteers must be in adequate health to be able to move and lift approximately 75 pounds.

Division Offices

Volunteers that serve in district offices provide a variety of services including: answering telephones, filing, sorting, data entry, computer processing, research, and any other duties determined by the individual district offices or units. They will also do finger printing for CWP permits during different days and hours during the week.

Bilingual Volunteer Unit

Volunteers of the Bilingual Volunteer Unit speak a fluent foreign language and are utilized by patrol officers and detectives when a need for interpretation or translation arises. BVU volunteers translate requested information, assist with community meetings, crime prevention education, license checks and any other language need.

Community Involvement

The volunteers attend recruitment events, fairs/festivals, community meetings, church meetings, organizational meetings, neighborhood meetings or any other avenues where there is interest in the LACOSO Volunteer Unit. These volunteers provide information to prospects and answer any questions about the Volunteer Unit. These volunteers will work closely with the Crime Prevention Officer.

If the chance to be a LACOSO volunteer interests you please complete and send the application.

Crime Prevention Unit
Bill Murphy

bmurphy@lacoso.net
P. O. Box 908
Lancaster, S. C. 29720
Phone: 803-313-2148

Crime

Crime Mapping

The crime mapping application can be accessed by clicking the following link: Crime Mapping

You can access the sex offenders Registry by clicking the following: National Sex Offender Public Registry.

Sex Offenders:

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the registration of sex offenders in Lancaster County and the cities of Lancaster, Heath Springs and Kershaw. The information available here does not include sex offenders registered in other counties. A comprehensive list of all state registered sex offenders is available at the SLED Website or national registered sex offenders at the National Sex Offender Public Registry.

Victim Services

If you feel you are a victim of a crime, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388.

The Lancaster County Victims Services’ mission is to help victims prevail over the trauma of their victimization by assisting and advocating for safety, healing, justice and restitution. In order to provide citizens with the highest quality services possible, two full time Victim’s Advocates are on staff. The Lancaster County Victims Services Unit is dedicated to providing direct, personal service to victims and their families throughout Lancaster County as well as assisting those outside our county. It’s goal is to assure victims that they will not be left behind during the criminal justice process and during all phases of the criminal justice system.

Victim’s assistance is available for such crimes as: Homicide, Criminal Domestic Violence, Robberies, Burglaries, Assaults, Stalking, Arson, Rapes, Shootings, Theft and Fraud, Vandalism and Juvenile Sexual and Physical Assaults.

If you have any questions concerning our Victims Assistance Program, please call Donna Phillips (Victims Advocate) at 803-313-2118.

Sex Offender Registry

The Sheriff's Office is responsible for maintaining the sex offender registry for any offenders that reside in Lancaster County.  We use computer software provided by the State Law Enforcement Division to manage and monitor the whereabouts, conduct and compliance status of the registered offenders in Lancaster County.

Please click here, Sex Offender Registry to proceed to the website.
Law Enforcement

Investigations

The Criminal Investigations Division is responsible for major case investigations including homicide, robbery, burglary, financial crimes and all other crimes that require in-depth investigations. The Sheriff’s Office CID is under the command of Captain Mike Howell who is assisted by Lt. Mike Miller and Lt. Ryan McLemore. The Criminal Investigations Division investigates reports of criminal activity and works with all local, state and federal agencies to bring offenders to justice. To accomplish this mission, the work of the CID is divided into several specialty areas:

1. Drug Task Force
2. Gang Task Force
3. Criminal Investigations
4. Sex Crimes Unit
5. Juvenile Crimes


Drug Task Force


The members of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force are dedicated to providing the highest quality of local drug enforcement aimed to improve quality of life while affording a safe and secure environment within Lancaster County. The Drug Task Force assertively enforces State and Federal drug laws while protecting the rights of all and applying the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and accountability. The Drug Task Force pledges to develop a partnership with the community to resolve problems and improve the safety and quality of life for everyone in Lancaster County.

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional task force that aggressively investigates drug dealers from the street corners to the organized criminal enterprises operating in Lancaster, York, Chester and Chesterfield Counties. The Drug Task Force has been enforcing drug laws since 1991 when the Drug Task Force was formed under a grant received by the federal government. The Drug Task Force works with all local, state and federal agencies to reach its goal of a drug free community.

If you have information on an individual or individuals involved in illegal drug activity, please call 803-313-2138. You may remain anonymous.

Gang Unit

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit consists of one full-time gang investigator whose functions include: gang related investigations, suppression, intelligence gathering, training and inter-agency support.

The Gang Unit’s schedule varies depending on operational and mission requirements. The unit focuses on known and potential criminal street gangs, felony gang crimes committed by gang members and conducts extensive investigations into cases that remove the most violent gang offenders from our streets.

The Gang Unit was formed in July of 2007 and is funded through a federal grant. The Gang Unit works closely with the Lancaster County Metro Drug Task Force as well as the Gang Task Force with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Since the implementation of the Gang Unit, numerous gangs have been identified throughout Lancaster County and aggressive suppression methods have been implemented to deter further growth of the gangs within Lancaster County.

 The citizens of Lancaster County are strongly urged to report any suspected gang activity by calling 803-313-2104.

Crime Prevention

Deputy Bill Murphy is assigned as the Crime Prevention Deputy for the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. These duties include Crime Prevention, Community Services, Project Lifesaver and the Crossroads Program. Deputy Murphy teaches classes on topics such as Personal Safety, Drugs, Violence in the Work Place, Church Safety and starting a Neighborhood Watch.

For Information or assistance contact Deputy Murphy through info listed below:

Bill Murphy

bmurphy@lacoso.net

P. O. Box 908
Lancaster, S. C. 29720
Phone: 803-313-2148

K-9 Team

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office currently deploys two K-9 teams that consist of bloodhounds (tracking teams) and their handlers. These teams are National certified in their respective fields and undergo constant training to maintain their proficiency. The K-9 handlers are comprised of select deputies from the Patrol Division within the department and are subject to callout 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The K-9 teams fall under the supervision of Captain Jeff Hilton in the Patrol Division.

Bloodhound (Tracking Teams)

"Bandit" and "Murphy" are Bloodhounds who have been highly trained and have received their National Certifications by the National Police Bloodhound Association. This Team is used to find criminal suspects and missing persons. They search open areas, track suspects that have fled from a crime scene and locate any evidence that a suspect leaves behind. Using their keen sense of smell, a bloodhound can search faster, safer, while using less manpower, and more accurately than officers alone.

Patrol

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division is led by Captain Jeff Hilton and is responsible for  patrolling 549 square miles and providing services and protection for the estimated 78,000 residents within the  county 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. The Deputies of the Patrol Division are the most visible representatives  of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office as they patrol an estimated 85,000 miles each month. 

The Patrol Division is divided into 3 districts that separate the county. District 1 includes the northern area of the  county (Indian Land/Van Wyck). District 2 is comprised of the Lancaster area. District 3 includes the southern  end area of the county (Kershaw and Heath Springs). 

In January of 2013 the Sheriff's Office launched a crime control initiative known as CrimeTRAC. CrimeTRAC is  a data driven crime control process that uses crime data and a clear management and accountability structure  to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for citizens. CrimeTRAC focuses on identifying problems specific  to individual communities and using innovative tactics and techniques to address those issues.

 Organization

The Patrol Division is divided into 3 districts with each district having a District Commander who is responsible for patrol operations within that district. Within each district are four shifts of deputies who are assigned to that district. Each of those four shifts is supervised by a district Sergeant.

Functions

Some of the many patrol functions include community policing, traffic enforcement, DUI investigation, Community Services and investigating crimes. The Sheriff’s K-9 teams, Negotiations Team and SWAT Team are comprised of select deputies from the Patrol Division. The Patrol Division provides services countywide and assists other law enforcement agencies when requested.

Off Duty/Extra Duty Details

Patrol also offers Off-Duty Detail opportunities for community event organizers requiring traffic assistance or additional security. All Off-Duty Security details must be approved through Major Matt Shaw at 803-313-2156.

Street Crime Unit

The Street Crime Unit is comprised of officers dedicated to identifying and solving problems within the community.Captain Jeff Hilton supervises the Street Crime Unit. The Street Crime Unit consists of uniformed officers and serves as one of the most proactive community policing initiatives ever implemented in Lancaster County. The primary premise of the Street Crime Unit is to focus on the root of problems and identify which crimes lead to secondary crimes. The Street Crime Unit members gather information through connections with other law enforcement organizations and the public. By targeting the root of a problem, the Street Crime Unit members are able to impact the problem before it spreads. The partnerships formed by the Street Crime Unit members establish trust between the community and the Sheriff’s Office. The Street Crime Unit also includes the two officers assigned to the DUI Enforcement Team. These officers work under a Highway Safety Grant that was awarded to the Sheriff's Office in December of 2012. The salaries, equipment, training, and vehicles for these officers are paid for entirely by the grant. Anyone with information benefiting the fight against crime should contact Captain Jeff Hilton at 803-313-2106.

SWAT

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team is a team comprised of deputies at the Sheriff's Office who volunteer to complete additional training and respond to high risk situations. All operators are required to complete a basic SWAT school and attend monthly training sessions in order to maintain the high level of preparedness required by SWAT.

The objective of the SWAT team is to utilize the minimum amount of force necessary to achieve a successful conclusion of an operation, with minimum hazard to citizens, property, and the deputies involved.

The following are examples of situations that, by their nature, may require the deployment of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit:

• Armed suspect with hostage
• Barricaded gunman or suspected barricaded gunman
• Sniper or suspected sniper
• High risk felony arrest warrants
• Secure buildings in the service of search warrants
• Use of chemical agents
• Riot or potential riot
• VIP security/security of life threatened citizens
• High risk prisoner transportation
• Jail uprising
• The mission of the LCSO SWAT Team is to save lives.

CRISIS NEGOTIATIONS TEAM

The Lancaster County Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is comprised of officers from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. The team members are required to respond on a 24/7 basis for crisis situations that occur within Lancaster County. A crisis situation includes: suicidal and/or barricaded subjects, hostage situations, high-risk warrants, emotionally disturbed individuals and any other situation deemed necessary on a case by case basis.

The CNT typically responds with the Lancaster Metro Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. This ensures that the officers responsible for talking to the individuals in crisis are kept safe and can concentrate on their assignment knowing that they have protection from the potential threat posed from that individual.

The CNT members are all required to attend a 40-Hour Basic Negotiation Course. Numerous training days are held throughout the year to enhance team response. This includes classroom training, equipment drills and scenario-based training exercises.

Crime Scene Unit

In August of 2009, Sheriff Barry Faile started the county’s first dedicated crime scene unit with the help of federal grant funds. The grant funding provided for the hiring of three full-time crime scene investigators.

Three vans were also purchased with grant monies. The vans, which were custom made to the specifications provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, allow the crime scene investigators to have all tools needed to complete the processing of any major crime scene. The vans also have a small workspace with power outlets for a laptop and printer to allow the officers to complete reports in the field.

This grant funding allowed the crime scene investigators to attend a ten-week intensive and inclusive forensic science training held at the National Forensics Academy at the University of Tennessee. When they graduated from the nationally renowned academy, they joined only five other officers to have ever completed the training from the state of South Carolina. Since then a fourth investigator has been added to the unit.
Safety

Bike Safety

Every year in the United States, bicycle-related deaths number about 900 and emergency rooms treat almost 500,000 people for bicycle-related injuries, most to the head. Bicycle accidents in the U.S. send more children to the ER than any other sport. Proper use of a bicycle helmet can help reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 88%. Regardless of your age, it's wise to follow these bicycle safety tips:

1. Always wear a helmet that meets one or more of the voluntary bicycle helmet standards like ASTM, Snell or ANSI.

2. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is level on the head. It should not be tilted back on the crown or pulled low over the forehead. It may take time to ensure a helmet fits properly, but it is worth the effort.

3. Before riding your bicycle, make sure it is in good working order and properly adjusted.

4. Wear proper clothing to make sure motorists and pedestrians can see you easily. Reflectors on you and your bike can help make you more visible.

5. Ride on marked paths and safe areas whenever possible.

6. When riding your bicycle on the street, always go in the same direction as car traffic.

7. Stay alert for vehicles, pedestrians and potential dangers like potholes or debris.

8. Never ride with another person on the handlebars.

9. Keep at least one hand on the bicycle's handlebars at all times.

Please be aware that the northern part of U.S. 521 is a popular bicycling route for many enthusiasts. While driving through this part of the county, please pay special attention and remain alert for bicyclists in this area.

Bullying

Bullying occurs when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying is repeated.

Examples of bullying are:

· Punching, shoving and other acts of physical violence.
· Spreading rumors
· Excluding people
· Teasing people
· Getting certain people to be mean as well

Bullying can also occur on-line or electronically. Cyber-bullying occurs when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other technology. This can include:

· Sending hostile texts, e-mails or instant messages
· Posting offensive pictures or messages about others in blogs or on websites
· Hacking into someone else's online account to spread rumors or lies about another person

Whether you are being bullied, have seen others being bullied or you have bullied others, there are plenty of good things you can do to ensure it doesn't happen again. No matter how you've been affected by bullying, it's a good idea to talk to an adult. Even though it's hard to talk to grown-ups, they can help!

Signs your child may be bullied:

· torn clothes
· loss of appetite
· mood changes
· reluctance to go to school
· bruises or injuries that can't be explained

Signs your child might be engaging in bullying behavior:

· impulsiveness
· no empathy for others
· a desire to be in control
· may be an arrogant and boastful winner and poor loser in competitive games

For younger kids, the best way to solve a bullying problem is to tell a trusted adult. For teens, though, the tell-an-adult approach depends on the bullying situation.

One situation in which it is vital to report bullying is if it threatens to lead to physical danger and harm. Numerous high school students have died when stalking, threats and attacks went unreported and the silence gave the bully license to become more violent.

If the victim of repeated bullying cannot control the need for revenge, the situation may become dangerous for everyone.

Adults in positions of authority — parents, teachers or coaches — can often find ways to resolve dangerous bullying problems without the bully ever learning how they found out about it.

If you're in a bullying situation that you think may escalate into physical violence, try to avoid being alone (and if you have a friend in this situation, spend as much time as you can together). Try to remain part of a group by walking home at the same time as other people or by sticking close to friends or classmates during the times the bullying takes place.

Bullying Survival Tips

Here are some things you can do to combat psychological and verbal bullying. They are also good tips to share with a friend as a way to show your support:

· Ignore the bully and walk away. It's definitely not a coward's response — sometimes it can be harder than losing your temper. Bullies thrive on the reaction they get, and if you walk away, or ignore hurtful emails or instant messages, you're telling the bully that you just don't care. Eventually the bully will become bored. Walk tall and hold your head high. Using this type of body language sends a message that you're not vulnerable.

· Hold the anger. Who doesn't want to get really upset with a bully? But that's exactly the response he or she is trying to get. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions. If you're in a situation where you have to deal with a bully and you can't walk away with poise, use humor — it can throw the bully off guard. Work out your anger in another way, such as through exercise or writing it down (make sure you tear up any letters or notes you write in anger).

· Don't get physical. However you choose to deal with a bully, don't use physical force (like kicking, hitting or pushing). Not only are you showing your anger, you can never be sure what the bully will do in response. You are more likely to be hurt and get into trouble if you use violence against a bully. You can stand up for yourself in other ways, such as gaining control of the situation by walking away or by being assertive in your actions. Some adults believe bullying is a part of growing up (even that it is character building) and hitting back is the only way to tackle the problem. But that's not the case. Aggressive responses tend to lead to more violence and more bullying for the victims.

· Practice confidence. Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. Practice feeling good about yourself (even if you have to fake it at first).

· Take charge of your life. You can't control other people's actions, but you can stay true to yourself. Think of ways to feel your best — and your strongest — so other kids may give up the teasing. Exercise is one way to feel strong and powerful. (It's a great mood lifter, too!) Learn martial arts or take a yoga class. Another way to gain confidence is to hone your skills in something like chess, art, music, computers or writing. Joining a class, club or gym is a great way to make new friends and feel great about yourself. The confidence you gain will help you ignore the bullys. · Talk about it. It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you're being bullied.

· Find your (true) friends. If you've been bullied with rumors or gossip, all of the above tips (especially ignoring and not reacting) can apply. But take it one step further to help ease feelings of hurt and isolation. Find one or two true friends and confide how the gossip has hurt your feelings. Set the record straight by telling your friends quietly and confidently what's true and not true about you. Hearing a friend say, "I know the rumor's not true. I didn't pay attention to it," can help you realize that most of the time people see gossip for what it is — petty, rude and immature.

The Lancaster County School District has a strict anti-bullying policy. If you feel your child is being bullied in school, please call the District Safety Director at 803-285-6009.

Child Restraints

South Carolina’s child passenger restraint law requires:

· Children from birth to 1 year old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.

· Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 40 to 80 pounds must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.

· Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 pounds or if they can sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.

· Children under 6 may not sit in the front passenger seat. However, this restriction does not apply if the vehicle has no rear passenger seats or if all other rear passenger seats are occupied by children less than 6 years old.

Violators are subject to a $150 fine. This law does not apply to taxis, church, school and day care buses or commercial vehicles.

South Carolina Code of Laws states the following:

ARTICLE 47.

CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT SYSTEM

SECTION 56-5-6410. Child passenger restraint systems; age and weight as basis for required restraining system; standards. Every driver of a motor vehicle (passenger car, pickup truck, van or recreational vehicle) operated on the highways and streets of this State when transporting a child five years of age or younger upon the public streets and highways of the State must provide an appropriate child passenger restraint system and must secure the child as follows:

· A child from birth up to one year of age or who weighs less than twenty pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

· A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least twenty pounds but less than forty pounds must be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat provided in the motor vehicle which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

· A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least forty pounds but not more than eighty pounds must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat. The belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. A booster seat must not be used with a lap belt alone.

· If a child is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and weighs more than eighty pounds, the child may be restrained in an adult safety belt. If a child less than six years of age can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching, the child may be seated in the regular back seat and secured by an adult safety belt.

· A child who is less than six years of age must not occupy a front passenger seat of a motor vehicle. This restriction does not apply if the motor vehicle does not have rear passenger seats or if all rear passenger seats are occupied by other children less than six years of age. Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article.

SECTION 56-5-6420. Transportation of children with insufficient number of restraint devices. If all the seating positions with restraint devices are occupied by children under the age of six years, a child may be transported and the driver of the motor vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of this article, but priority must be given to children under the age of six years, according to their ages.

SECTION 56-5-6420. Transportation of children with insufficient number of restraint devices. If all the seating positions with restraint devices are occupied by children under the age of six years, a child may be transported and the driver of the motor vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of this article, but priority must be given to children under the age of six years, according to their ages.

SECTION 56-5-6440. Persons and vehicles excepted from article. The provisions of this article do not apply to:

· Taxi drivers.

· Drivers of emergency vehicles when operating in an emergency situation.

· Church, day care and school bus drivers.

· Public transportation operators.

· Commercial vehicles.

SECTION 56-5-6445. Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this article apply to all motor vehicles equipped with safety belts.

SECTION 56-5-6450. Custodial arrest not authorized; penalties for violation of article; waiver. No person shall be subjected to a custodial arrest for violation of the provisions of this article. Any person violating the provisions of this article shall upon conviction be fined not more than twenty-five dollars. The court shall waive any fine against any person who, before, or upon the appearance date on the summons, supplies the court with evidence of acquisition, purchase or rental of a child restraint system meeting the requirements of this article.

SECTION 56-5-6460. Violation of article not to constitute negligence. A violation of this article shall not constitute negligence, per se, contributory negligence nor be admissible as evidence in any trial of any civil action.

SECTION 56-5-6470. Enforcement after June 30, 1984. After June 30, 1984, any person violating the provisions of Article 47 of Chapter 5 of Title 56 may be, when apprehended, issued a summons, to appear in court for the violation, but no person shall at any time be placed under arrest or taken into custody for such a violation, other than upon a warrant issued for failure to appear in court in accordance with the summons or upon failure to pay a fine duly imposed by a court upon conviction.

Child Safety

Each year thousands of children are reported missing. The men and women of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office want you to know what you can do to help prevent your child from becoming a statistic.

Teach your child to:

· Never leave home without your permission.

· Your children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in a play area supervised by a responsible adult.

· Never wander off, avoid lonely places and avoid shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas. Children are safer walking or playing with friends.

· Come straight home after school unless you have made other arrangements.

· Never enter anyone’s home without your approval.

· Scream, run away and tell a parent or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them, or if a stranger offers them a ride.

· Never give any information over the telephone including name or address, or tell anyone you’re alone.

· Keep doors locked and only allow people you know into the home.

You should:

· Know your child’s whereabouts at all times.

· Teach your child at an early age their name, address and telephone number and your first and last name.

· Teach them how to call 9-1-1 for help. Have him or her use the phone to practice dialing 9-1-1 but be sure to unplug the phone to avoid dialing.

· Teach your child how to make local and long distance phone calls.

· Never leave your child alone in a car; even for a few seconds.

· Establish strict procedures for picking up your child at school, from the movies, at a friend’s house, etc.

· Remind your child to never accept a ride from anyone you don’t know, even if the child knows the person.

· Talk to your child about child abduction in a simple, non-threatening way.

· Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone they may have met or spoken with when you weren’t around.

· Take photographs of your child at least four times a year (especially for preschoolers). Make notes of birthmarks or other distinguishing features and have them documented and stored in a safe area that is quickly accessible.

· Fingerprint your child and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.

Rules for baby-sitters:

· Leave emergency contact numbers as well as mobile numbers.

· Never allow the sitter to admit strangers into your home. The best rule is no company allowed.

· Instruct the sitter that phone use is for emergencies only, not for chatting with friends.

· Leave the number for your local law enforcement agency and tell the sitter to call immediately if there are any signs of suspicious activity or unusual noises.

Child Gun Safety

Child Gun Safety

· One child dies every nine hours in a gun accident or suicide (NCHS/CDC)

· Over the past decade, more than 5,000 kids have died in firearms accidents (NCHS/CDC)

· 16,298 kids were injured by firearms in a single year (NEISS/AIP)

· 30% of all handguns are stored unlocked and loaded (NIJ)

· 22 million kids in the U.S. live in a house with a firearm (Rand Report)

· 40% of American households with children have guns (Hart Research)

· Two-thirds of students in grades 6 – 12 said they could acquire a firearm within 24 hours

Many gun owners have small children either residing in the household or visiting on a regular basis. The reality is, if there is a gun in the house, your child or grandchild most likely knows where the gun is at. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have hidden it in a place they would never think to look.

You should educate your children about the guns and teach them the dangers associated with them. Children are curious and the lure of the unknown can be the deciding factor between whether a child “plays” with a gun or leaves it alone. The time we invest in securing guns in our household and in educating our children could make all the difference in preventing accidents involving guns.

General Gun Safety

There is no greater responsibility than providing for the safety and security of your home and family. Many people purchase a handgun, rifle or shotgun. A few basic but very important rules are listed below:

· Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. If you do not know how to check to see if the gun is loaded, leave it alone making sure it is pointed in a safe direction until someone who knows how to check it can ensure it is unloaded.

· Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never point it at yourself or others.

· Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your trigger finger on the outside of the trigger guard alongside the gun until you are ready to fire. This will prevent any accidental discharges of your gun.

· Do not point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy or kill.

· Remember gun safety starts at home.