Photo Gallery | Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts Receives Resolution
On Tuesday, January 22nd , Lexington County Council presented a resolution to Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts in order to recognize Metts for his many a ccomplishments during his 40 years of service as Lexington County’s chief law enforcement officer. County Council members presented the resolution to Metts during a regularly scheduled County Council meeting.
Lexington County Council Chairman William B. “Bill” Banning, Sr., presented the resolution to Metts on behalf of County Council.
“We really appreciate all that you do for Lexington County,” Banning told Metts.
Metts thanked County Council members for recognizing the accomplishments of the proven, professional law enforcement team that he has led at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department for the past 40 years.
“County Council has provided our agency with the resources to do all the innovative things that we have accomplished,” Metts said.
County Council Vice Chairman Johnny W. Jeffcoat said the resolution shows that County Council greatly appreciates Metts’ strong commitment to provide professional law enforcement services to citizens in Lexington County.
“I personally appreciate all the years that you have given to Lexington County,” Jeffcoat told Metts. “We appreciate your efforts to bring all these innovative programs to Lexington County. We know that you often have sacrificed time away from your family.”
Metts has established a reputation as an innovative law enforcement administrator and leader in the field of criminal justice, both in South Carolina and the nation. He teaches classes for law enforcement professionals and criminal justice students at the collegiate level.
In 2009, Metts received the Advocate of the Year award from the South Carolina National Safety Council in recognition of the leadership role that Metts played in promoting the Alive at 25 driver-safety program for young drivers.
Metts was the first South Carolina sheriff to hire school resource officers, victims’ assistance officers and certified female law enforcement officers. He also was the first sheriff to implement mandatory drug screening and psychological testing of prospective deputies.
In South Carolina, Metts was the first sheriff to assign a team of deputies to conduct traffic enforcement patrols to arrest motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 1992, the National Safety Council presented Metts with “The J. Stannard Baker Traffic Safety Award,” which is the nation’s highest honor for contributions to highway safety.
Metts led the effort to create the Lexington County Criminal Domestic Violence Court, which was the first court in South Carolina dedicated to handle domestic violence cases. The court includes a treatment program for abusers and their families. Metts hired two detectives to investigate domestic violence cases as well as a lawyer to prosecute such cases in court.
Metts earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, a master’s degree in criminal justice and a doctorate in education, all from the University of South Carolina. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, National Sheriff’s Institute, National Corrections Academy, South Carolina Executive Institute and Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In 1998, Gov. David Beasley awarded Metts the Order of the Palmetto, which is the highest civilian honor that a governor can bestow in South Carolina.
In 2004, Gov. Mark Sanford awarded Metts the Order of the Silver Crescent, which is the highest civilian honor awarded in South Carolina for community service.
Metts, who is an Eagle Scout, received the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America. Metts started the first Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post at the Sheriff’s Department, providing an opportunity for hundreds of teen-agers to receive first-hand experience about a career in law enforcement.