Current News & Releases
If you’re planning on going out for the evening, whether to a party at someone’s home or to a business to celebrate, make sure you have a well-established plan for the evening and that everyone in your group is aware of the plan. This includes not only establishing a designated driver for the evening, but making sure everyone in your group knows where you are headed, and also having a set of numbers available in case a ride needs to be arranged, as well. If you have a smart phone, go ahead and program the phone numbers of taxi companies into your contact list.
Avoid posting any travel plans on social media sites. While it can be fun to tell your friends and relatives when you might be arriving somewhere or where you plan on celebrate, it can also tell others that your home is empty.
Drive defensively. While the dangers of drinking and driving should be clear to everyone, many people will unfortunately ignore common sense on New Year’s Eve/Day and get behind the wheel anyway. According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, half of all traffic fatalities nationwide on New Year’s Day involve a legally-intoxicated driver, making Jan. 1 the worst day for drunken driving. This makes it even more important that you or your designated driver not be distracted while driving. This includes avoiding texting, loud music or loud conversations while in the vehicle.
Last year, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Palmetto State had 11 motor vehicle related fatalities between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, or nearly two-and-a-half times the average daily fatality rate in South Carolina.
Remain aware of your surroundings. Once you arrive at your destination, make sure to keep your personal belongings (purses, wallets, phones, etc.) nearby, if not on you, at all times. Do not leave a drink unattended. The designated driver should park in a well-lit area, and should also have their keys in-hand and ready when returning to the vehicle.
Avoid carrying unnecessary items. Have only the credit cards you need with you, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you use an automatic teller machine during the evening, scan the area before hand and make sure it is in a well-lit area.
If you’re hosting a party or gathering, make sure you have a non-alcoholic beverage to offer your guests, and offer non-salty foods for your guests to enjoy. Be prepared for the possibility of guests needing to stay the night, as well. Do not be afraid to take the keys from a guest you believe is inebriated.
Prepare your pets. With New Year’s also comes not only large crowds, but also firework celebrations. Sudden loud noises can easily frighten your pet, and could prompt them to act erratically, and possibly make them more likely to become aggressive and bite. Keeping pets inside in a comfortable room can be a good option.
For the second year, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring the Elizabeth Foxworth Helping Hands Food Drive to help feed needy families during this holiday season.
From now until December 18th, the sheriff’s office is accepting both non-perishable food items and financial donations to assist the effort. These donations can be dropped off at the sheriff’s office headquarters at 1281 North Main Street. In addition, pre-packaged food bags can be purchased for donation at Save-A-Lot, located at 674 West Liberty Street in Sumter, for only $6.10.
The food packages will be distributed by deputies and volunteers on December 20th.
For more information on how you can support the program, please contact Lieutenant Petrina Wiley at (803) 436-2026. If your family, or one you know, could benefit from the food drive, also call Lieutenant Wiley at (803) 436-2026 no later than December 12th. Supplies will become limited, so families looking to register should respond as soon as possible.
One more Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputy can feel a little safer while on duty, thanks to a generous donation from Paws For Friendship.
The non-profit organization that works to provide visits from therapy pets to schools and nursing homes around the globe assisted the sheriff’s office by presenting a form-fitting bullet-proof vest to Halo, a member of the sheriff’s office K-9 unit, on Thursday.
Halo and his partner, Cpl. Cameron Prescott, received the vest from Dennis Sides, a Sumter resident and one of the non-profit organization’s South Carolina Chapter coordinators.
“We are extremely grateful for the donation of the bullet-proof vest for Halo,” said Capt. Terrance Colclough of the patrol division. “Our K-9 units are a valuable asset to our department, and can often find themselves in dangerous situations. With this new vest, we can now feel a little safer for Halo as he performs his duties.”
The sheriff’s office currently has five K-9 units on staff, making it possible to always have at least one of these specialized units on duty at any time.
For more information on Paws For Friendship, visit their website at www.pawsforfriendshipinc.org
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office will be hosting our 9th annual BBQ chicken dinner fundraiser to benefit the local Toys for Tots drive. Our office partners each year with the local Marine Corps League chapter to help provide toys to needy families during the holidays. Over the past nine years we have helped the families of several thousand children in the Sumter area get toys on Christmas morning. The annual BBQ chicken dinner is our biggest fundraiser each year and 100% of all proceeds go towards buying toys. If you are interested in purchasing some meals, youmay contact Dep Jennifer Mays at 803-436-2046, or you can stop by our office and purchase them at our front desk. Meals will be available for pickup between 11:00 - 2:00 on Wednesday, November 26 at the Sheriff's Office Technology Center behind our office on Highway 15 North. For orders of 6 meals or more we can deliver to your business.
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis and several members of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, themselves military veterans, joined in celebrating the efforts of our nation’s service men and women Tuesday during the Veteran’s Day celebration outside the Sumter County Courthouse.
An estimated 400 people attended the event, organized by the Sumter County Veterans’ Association, to pay tribute to the military personnel serving both in the past and today.
Keynote speaker Col. Stephen Jost, commander of the 20th Fighter Wing stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, praised the community for its support of the country’s armed forces. “Sumter knows how to recognize the sacrifice of our military men and women, not just on Veteran’s Day, but every day,” Jost said.
According to event organizers, approximately seven percent of the nation’s citizenry are American veterans, including about one percent of the country that currently serves in the armed forces.
“We’d like to thank all of the veterans living in Sumter County for their service over the years,” said Maj. Allen Dailey of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, himself a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “It’s because of their heroic efforts that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today.”
In addition to the ceremonies, several local businesses and non-profit organizations provided various services for those in attendance outside the courthouse.
During the ceremonies, Sumter County Council Vice-Chairman Eugene Baten read a proclamation from council chairman Larry Blanding declaring Sumter County a “Purple Heart County,” in honor of the many Sumter County residents who had been wounded in the line of battle.
Recently members of the Sumter County Sheriff's Office partnered with Chic-fil-a for a Cover a Cruiser fundraiser benefiting the South Carolina Special Olympics. During the lunchtime promotion we raised over $400 to be donated to help support the training activities of the special needs participants. We would like to thank everyone for their support and especially Chic-fil-a for their generosity in this project.
As we continue preparing for our fall nighttime 5k Glow Run, part of the Sumter Series of running events, we are offering another way for people to donate in advance to help support the Special Olympics. A fundraising page has been setup where non-Glow Run participants can make monetary donations to the event. Our goal is to raise $1,000 dollars. If you would like to donate, please click HERE to go to the fundraiser page. Thank you again for all of your support as we try to help these Special Olympics athletes compete.
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office has been receiving a significant increase in reports of daytime burglaries in the northwestern area of the county. The increase has primarily been seen in the 441 and Statesburg communities with most of the burglaries having been committed between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. The suspects pretend to be broken down on the side of the road in front of residences and knocking on doors for help. In actuality they are trying to determine who is home before attempting to make entry. Several witnesses in the area have seen a tan/beige over burgundy 1990's pickup and a silver 4-door sedan together on the side of the road around the time of several of these incidents.
We ask that if you see these or any other suspicious vehicles in the area, especially on the side of the road, to please call us immediately to investigate. If anyone knocks on your door claiming they are broken down, do not open the door. Instead, yell through the door and advise them that you will call 911 for them and then call us.
If you have information on previous incidents that may help us, please call our Criminal Investigations Division at 803-436-2000.
There is a scam occurring in our jurisdiction that citizens need to be made aware of. Someone is calling Sumter County residents claiming to be from Equifax and requesting the victim's debit card number to supposedly verify that it has not been part of a data breach. While still on the phone with victims, the cards are being charged electronically to out of state accounts. The calls appear to be continuing and we are actively investigating these transactions and working with authorities where they may be originating from. Equifax or any other financial institution will never call you and ask for a full card number like this. Under no circumstances should you give out detailed information to anyone that calls you requesting it.
If you have been contacted by someone in the last couple of days claiming to be from Equifax and you gave them any critical information such as a card number or social security number, please make contact with us immediately 803-436-2000.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting its Annual Boys & Girls Youth Conferences. This year both conferences will be held on June 13th and 14th 2014. The Boys will be housed at Chestnut Oaks Middle School located at 1200 Oswego Hwy., Sumter, SC; and The Girls will be housed at Crestwood High School located at 2000 Oswego Rd., Sumter, SC.
The conferences are aimed at building character and leadership skills among boys and girls ages 10 to 18 if still in high school. Topics of discussion include; demands & needs for employment in the medical profession, effects of drugs & alcohol, the importance of saving money and so much more. We promote education and a deep desire to attend institutions of higher learning. Registration fee is $25 per camper. Registration begins at 6:30am Friday morning at Crestwood High School with various other activities scheduled throughout the day and evening. The campers will stay overnight and the conferences resume early Saturday morning. Graduation ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 12:30pm at Crestwood High School in the Auditorium, and the conferences will end at approximately 1:30pm Saturday. Parents are encouraged to attend graduation.
Each camper is to bring any medications needed; female personal items, and personal hygiene items to include soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant; wash towels, and bed covers. Campers (boys & girls) may wear shorts, but the length should extend to the knees. Otherwise, shorts are prohibited. Females may wear skirts provided they are knee length or below. Cots will be provided, therefore sleeping bags are optional. Meals & snacks will be provided throughout the conferences as well, to include breakfast on Friday morning. In addition to items needed the campers will also need to bring a beach towel. This year we will be having a huge field day. The field day will consist of water games, sack races; face painting, basketball competitions, flag football, teambuilding exercises and so much more.
We are soliciting your support by asking that you sponsor a child or children or simply make a monetary contribution. Sponsorship letters are available by clicking here. Volunteers may assist upon completion of a volunteer application, which can be picked up from our office or download here.
Criminal background checks of all volunteers will be conducted by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
It is our mission to make our youth prosperous and productive citizens of the future. Applications may be picked up at the Sheriff’s Office or click here to download, and for more information, contact: Captain Terrance Colclough at (803) 436-2032 or Lt. Nina Waiters at (803) 436-2398.