The training unit is responsible for coordinating and conducting training for all LE-1, LE-2, and LE-3 personnel assigned to the Sheriff office. They also assist with training for Detention Officers, Reserve Deputies, Sheriff Special Deputies, Retirees, and Sheriff Office Auxiliary Personnel. The unit also coordinates with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) for Basic LE training and advanced training.
In 2019, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office was designated as a regional academy training point for local agencies recruit training. The unit conducts monthly block training for annual firearms and less lethal weapons training, legal updates, driver’s training and other mandatory training. Deputies certified in specific areas of training assist the unit as a collateral duty. Members of the unit also coordinate all travel arrangements associated with training.
In 2019, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office procured a MILO firearms simulator through a federal allocation grant. This will assist our deputies to train for split second judgments in critical incidents.
The simulator will also allow deputies to improve their proficiency with their weapons without expending ammunition and procuring time at our range. The Sheriff’s Office also developed an outdoor range to enhance our firearms training. This allows the Sheriff’s Office control over the costs for firearms training and the flexibility of training times and dates.
A corporal and six civilians staff the duty office. Duty Officers are responsible for answering the phones, taking reports over the phone or from persons who walk in the Sheriff office requesting an incident report. They are NCIC (National Crime Information Center) full functional certified. This allows them to conduct inquiries, enter NCIC data, remove NCIC data from the system and conduct NCIC validations.
Duty Officers also run criminal histories for the Sheriff’s Office as well for other agencies. In addition, they also run agency arrest warrants for dispatch and deputies. They issue non-ferrous metal permits.
The Records unit is staffed by three civilians and an expungement clerk. Agency reports and documents go through this division. They are reviewed for any errors. The Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to a new records management system in 2019.
Records Unit personnel shall receive training required for the new system which will increase the efficiency of all divisions.
Records personnel also are responsible for responding to Freedom of information records requests. They run criminal history checks, military background checks and DSS background checks. Records personnel enter warrants and protection orders. They process Concealed Weapons Permit entries and responses. They enter NCIC (National Crime Information Center) validations and checks and process Rule 5 requests and expungements.
The Sheriff’s Office offers Berkeley County citizens the opportunity to sign up for the Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy. Citizens attend one night a week and are provided insight to all the functions of the Sheriff’s Office. They are given tours of the facilities. Demonstrations are provided by the K9 unit and the Special Response Team.
This program has been very well received by the participants. The Sheriff’s Office offers this program annually to the citizens of Berkeley County.