The Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation has honored eight Lexington County Sheriff’s Department employees and three individuals who volunteer their time to work with the department.
“We’re grateful for the support and resources the foundation provides to assist us in fulfilling our mission of serving and protecting the people of Lexington County,” Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Through its annual awards banquet, the foundation underscores its commitment to preserve the professional standards of our department.”
Koon said the foundation also provides money for equipment, training and other supplies to assist deputies in carrying out their duties.
The foundation presented the following awards last night during its annual awards banquet:
Deputy of the year: Resident Deputy Ben Treaster
Treaster has served as a Lexington County deputy since 2010. He is described by his commander as a “team player” and a “go getter” who always accomplishes his assigned tasks in a timely and successful manner. In addition to a full slate of enforcement and community responsibilities, Treaster serves on the Large Animal Response Team and as a Crises Negotiator.
Correctional officer of the year: Stephen Weymouth
Weymouth previously achieved success as a deputy sheriff before transitioning to the correctional environment. He completed the Basic Jail Course at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in June 2015. Weymouth earned the Bert Friday Award, which is awarded to the student who attains the highest cumulative academic score for all test units. Additionally, a student must avoid receiving any demerits or failing any proficiency tests.
Brian S. Mills first-year officer award: Deputy John Gietz
Gietz received the award for his actions in response to a family disturbance call. Less than five months after graduating from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Gietz found himself in the middle a volatile situation. He served as cover for his fellow officers and negotiated with the one of the subjects for almost 30 minutes. His actions, and those of the other deputies present, prevented the intended loss of the life of an innocent hostage.
Civilian employee of the year: Ladd Roof
Roof began his civilian career with the Sheriff’s Department only within the past few years. After serving in a variety of law enforcement roles with the department since 1991, Roof transitioned to the front desk of the department’s headquarters in 2012. Last year he requested a transfer to serve as an administrative assistant in the West Region where he utilizes his many years of experience to manage the office, greet citizens and provide exemplary customer service.
Reserve deputy of the year: Deputy Chavous Camp
Camp worked 25 patrol shifts for a total of 258 hours of service in 2015. He answered 209 calls for service and made five arrests. Camp was the first to arrive on the scene of a December stabbing. He located the victim and summoned EMS to provide medical attention. He was able to obtain a description of the suspect which he then broadcast to other units, ultimately leading to the apprehension of the suspect.
School resource officer of the year: Deputy James Pratt
Pratt has served as a deputy sheriff since 2012. He was promoted to SRO in 2014 and has worked diligently to provide excellent service for the students and faculty of his assigned school. His timely actions assist the staff in ensuring the existence of a safe learning environment. He took it upon himself, and on his own time, to organize and lead a worship service for flood victims and volunteers the first Sunday morning after the clean-up had gotten underway.
Community service officer of the year: Resident Deputy Shannon Lovell
Lovell was appointed to serve as deputy sheriff in 2000. He’s held a resident deputy post since 2010. His hard work and commitment have contributed to the department’s crime-fighting efforts, while also producing a high level of trust and cooperation with citizens. This was evident by the turnout of the National Night Out event that he coordinated. More than 30 vendors took part and more than 400 people attended.
Investigator of the year: Detective R.D. Longshore
Longshore is an experienced property crimes detective and is constantly called upon to conduct difficult and crucial investigations. He also assists others by offering his knowledge and experience as an adjunct instructor. In 2015, he was assigned more than 200 cases and obtained more than 60 arrest warrants. He was either lead detective or assisted in a support role in several cases that resulted in the arrests of suspects that ended crime sprees and property crime trends.
First-line supervisor of the year: Sgt. Tony Ward
Ward joined the Sheriff’s Department in 2007. Having served as a Master Correctional Officer and now a Corrections Sergeant, he has consistently displayed the attributes of a motivated and professional leader, always placing the needs of the organization and of his subordinates ahead of his own. He always finds time in the midst of his other commitments to assist the department with community service projects such as food and toy drives held for the Nancy K. Perry Children’s Shelter.
Volunteer of the year: LaMae Miller
In almost two years of volunteering, Miller has completely reviewed each of the department’s 494 employee files and verified that all documents belonging to that employee were correctly filed. With her keen eye for accuracy, Miller has also worked with a team to audit the LCSD evidence room. She also devised a filing system for paperwork in the evidence room that has made finding important documents easy and fast.
Explorer of the year: Joey Ragsdale
Ragsdale joined Explorer post #106 in May 2010. Quickly distinguishing himself as polite, cheerful, and eager to learn, he proved to be a quick study of various law enforcement tactics and principles, being chosen to represent the Sheriff’s Department and Post #106 in several Law Enforcement Explorer competitions across the state and even nationally. Ragsdale has plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.