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Sheriff's Office

Lancaster County

Sheriff Barry S. Faile

Sheriff Message

Message From the Sheriff

"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."


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.


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.


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.


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.

We ensure integrity in all we do. We are committed to the highest performance standards, conduct and truthfulness in our relationships.


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.”



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

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. Davey Hendrix.


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.  Please Click Here to obtain a Freedom of Information Request form.

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.


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 Jeff Hilton, 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, Animal Control, 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.

Animal Control


The Sheriff's Office maintains a unit of certified officers who specialize in animal control issues.  They respond to and investigate complaints of animal abuse, animal welfare, and stray or nuisance animals.  Citizens may request an animal control officer by calling

803-283-3388 and pressing option 1.  Although our animal control officers work closely with the Lancaster County Animal Shelter, we do not operate the Lancaster County Animal Shelter.  Questions regarding the animal shelter can be directed to the shelter website by clicking here


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

CALEA Accreditation

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) since 2013. To maintain accreditation status, the agency is assessed and inspected every four years by CALEA and must maintain compliance with national law enforcement standards.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is periodically scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to achieve accreditation by verifying it meets nationally accepted professional standards.

This assessment is administered by CALEA. The accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas:


The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide the participating agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster the pursuit of professional excellence. CALEA welcomes comments from the public regarding the LCSO’s compliance with CALEA standards, as well as the agency’s engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services and overall candidacy for accredited status.


IMPORTANT NOTE: CALEA is not an investigatory body and subsequently the public comment portal should not be used to submit information for such purposes. Additionally, there will be no response other than acknowledgement to submissions; however, the information will be considered in context to its relevancy to compliance with standards and the tenets of CALEA® Accreditation.  

Judicial Services
Support Services
Animal Control
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