The Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation has honored 11 members of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and a man who volunteered his time to work with the agency.

“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 highlights its commitment to preserve the professional standards of our department.”

Koon said the foundation also provides funding for equipment, training and other supplies to assist deputies and correctional officers in carrying out their duties.

The foundation recently presented the following awards at its annual awards banquet:

Deputy of the year: Art Seboe

Seboe was recognized for saving the lives of three people during two separate incidents last year. Seboe is credited with saving a man who attempted to jump from an interstate overpass. Seboe also apprehended a man who set a home on fire during a domestic incident. Seboe’s quick thinking and decisive action prevented the loss of life and property in two incidents last year.

Investigator of the year: Joe Hart

Hart serves in the Sheriff’s Department’s special victims unit, where he worked more than 150 cases last year. He obtained more than 100 arrest warrants in connection to those cases, the highest number posted in the unit. Hart was recognized as a detective who does things the right way, regardless of the work involved, while adhering to and respecting the constitutional rights of defendants.

First-line supervisor of the year: Johnny Bryant 

Bryant leads a team of resident deputies, school resource officers and code enforcement officers. Bryant and his unit were part of a plan to serve arrest and bench warrants, and civil papers. Those under Bryant’s charge located and documented more than 200 sex offenders in an effort to keep neighborhoods safe. Bryant’s flexibility, calm demeanor and attention to detail were noted as strong characteristics in his nomination for this award.

Correctional officer of the year: Max Graber

Graber was nominated by his supervisor and sergeant as one who leads by example in his work ethic, team spirit and dedication. Max demonstrates dedication above and beyond what is expected. He can be counted on to work his assigned shifts, stay late and shoulder the load when another shift might be in need of staff. His focus is simple: to accomplish the task at hand and to assist anyone needing help.

School resource officer of the year: Richie Foster

Foster received this award in light of his dedication to mentoring and serving students as evidenced by the number of young people who count him as a positive influence in their lives. Richie strives daily to build and foster strong relationships with parents, students, faculty and staff at the schools and in the greater Pelion community.

Community service employee of the year: Steven Yancey

Yancey received the Distinguished Community Service Award for his excellent work in Pelion. Yancey spearheaded several crime suppression efforts and served numerous arrest warrants and civil papers in 2018. His Pelion roots, quick wit, southern drawl, and his folksy storytelling have allowed him to connect with local residents in a meaningful and effective way.

Civilian employee of the year: Meg Walker

Walker, the department’s chemist, was hired in 2016. Walker inherited a backlog of approximately 1,000 cases, going back to 2015. Along with addressing these old cases, she received new cases constantly. Walker decreased the backlog of cases by more than 50 percent in approximately two years.

Reserve deputy of the year: David Stein 

Stein’s tenure as a reserve deputy lasted more than eight years. Stein ascended to the rank of sergeant, performing leadership and administrative functions for the Reserve Deputy unit, in addition to taking part in law enforcement operations. In 2018, Stein worked 450 hours – a number which translates into more than three full patrol shifts per month – in support of the Sheriff’s Department. These hours represent more than $13,000 in savings to Lexington County.

Brian S. Mills Distinguished First-Year Officer Award: Akram Tadrus

Tadrus serves in the Lexington County Detention Center and was nominated by his field training officer. Tadrus was cited for his “can do” attitude, his desire to help his shift mates and the sense of accountability with which he carries out his duties. Tadrus’ chain of command said he possesses abilities and skills that should offer him multiple paths to success within the profession.

Volunteer of the year: Danny Edens

A former reserve Lexington County deputy and retired certified public accountant, Edens began volunteering for the agency’s victim assistance unit in 2018. Edens frequently sends correspondence to the victims and provides necessary information on counseling, financial assistance and available resources.

Explorer of the year: Samuel Lawson

Lawson started as an Explorer with the Sheriff’s Department’s post in September 2017 after learning of the program at the Citizen’s Academy. Lawson has shown interest in techniques, tactic and principles of law enforcement. He’s participated in virtually every opportunity to participate in classroom and hands-on training with the Explorer Post, while also participating in countless ride-alongs with Lexington County deputies.

Foundation Award: Nicole Miller

Miller, a civilian Sheriff’s Department employee, received the Foundation Award for her contributions to the foundation’s success. For more than 10 years, Miller has contributed her time and effort in support of multiple foundation fundraising events, including the annual awards banquet, golf events, clay shoot and two races – the Jailbreak 5K Run & Walk and the Jailbreak Escape Urban Challenge Run.