The following are helpful points of contact for community members when needing assistance from the sheriff's office.
Animal Control is specially trained to handle situations involving domestic animals. This includes the removal of stray domestic animals that are unleashed (in or near roadways), and the transportation of injured domestic animals to the emergency veterinarian for treatment (when the animal's owner cannot be located). They also conduct investigations relating to neglected or abused animals. Animal Control has the power to enforce both local ordinances and state laws related to violations concerning domestic animals.
Effective immediately, the sheriff's office will no longer be responding to calls related to calls involving sick and/or injured raccoons.
If DNR fails to respond, please call an agency on the Wildlife Removal List (PDF). These services range in cost from $30 - $100.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office holds a nine-week Citizen's Academy (once a week for two hours at a time) for interested individuals in the community. To apply, participants must be at least 21 years of age, fill out the application, agree to a criminal records check, and complete a ride along waiver. Throughout the course of the program, participants will learn every aspect of our agency, from both the law and detention sides.
Community Engagement is responsible for informing the citizens of crime prevention methods to help avoid, prevent or minimize personal injury and/or loss of property resulting in criminal activity; and to reduce crime and the perception of crime in the community through target programs like Neighborhood/Crime Watch Programs. Though the responsibility for achieving the agency's community relations objectives is shared by all Sheriff's Office personnel, Community Engagement supports the efforts of community policing programs that provide educational solutions and directions through the interpretation and explanation of the provision of laws, rules and regulations as needed to combat specific crimes as well as to educate the public.
Charleston County Sheriff's Office is committed to the task of reducing crime and providing a safer and better quality of life for our citizens. When neighbors organize to help local law enforcement with the community, it can make a significant impact on reducing crime and fear in the area for our children and citizens. To start a Crime Watch group, neighbors must determine if there is enough community interest. And if there is, contact the sheriff’s office about getting started.
The duties of Criminal Investigations consist of initiating and conducting follow-up investigations involving crimes occurring predominantly in the unincorporated areas of Charleston County; however, detectives occasionally investigate cases that occur in municipalities or towns within the county that have police departments that are not outfitted, trained or equipped to investigate certain crimes.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post 555 began in 1976 and has evolved into a very important part of our agency. The program is designed to function under the joint guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the sheriff's office. The purpose of this program is to promote social, recreational and community relations activities for Explorers in addition to the training and educational opportunities they receive in law enforcement.
The Explorer program is geared for youth aged 14 to 20 years old. Explorers meet on a weekly basis and these meetings are scheduled so as not to interfere with school. Explorers are required to maintain passing grades in order to remain active with the post. The training they receive in general law enforcement also prepares them for several yearly competitions they attend during the summer months.
The Charleston County Judicial Center is part of the historically famous "Four Corners of Law" located at 100 Broad Street. This is near the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets, directly adjacent to the Historic Courthouse. The Judicial Center consists of sixteen courtrooms of the Judicial Center and the Historical Courthouse.
Deputies assigned to Judicial Security are responsible for providing all perimeter and internal security. Deputies are in uniform and serve as the first line of defense of the courthouse as well as the first point of contact of all persons entering the facility. They provide physical site screening by the utilization of x-ray scanners and magnetometers at entrance points. They are responsible for the screening of all persons and articles entering the courthouse. They work closely with all court assigned personnel to ensure the safety and integrity of the judicial process.
To ensure the safety and integrity of the courthouse certain items are not allowed in the building. These items include but are not limited to: any and all firearms or ammunition including plastic or toy guns, explosive devices, any and all sharp instruments or weapons, also included are any items that can be used as a weapon. Signage outlining contraband is posted in the Cumberland Street Parking Garage as well as the King and Queen Street Parking Garage and in the lobby of the Judicial Center. Persons visiting the Judicial Center are asked to familiarize themselves with the list of items that are not allowed in the facility. During the screening process any legal item that is discovered but considered to be contraband will be surrendered to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office as abandoned property. These items will not be returned to the individual unless the individual chooses to return the item to their vehicle. Cell phones are allowed in the Judicial Center and the Historic Courthouse; however they have to be placed in silent mode when in a courtroom. Although most cell phones have the ability to record and take photos, photography or videography is strictly prohibited without the written approval of the presiding judge.
Anyone having questions concerning security of the Judicial Center including prohibited items in the courthouse, parking directions or any other general security questions please contact the Main Control Room at 843-958-2117 or 2118 or you may contact Capt. Cooke during regular business hours. Any other questions regarding court proceedings or jury information you may contact the Clerk of Court at 843-958-5000 during regular business hours.
Q: May I leave my pocket knife, mace or screwdriver with the deputy at the scanner?
A: No, you may return the item to your vehicle or it will be considered abandoned contraband and will not be returned back to you.
The Patrol Division provides efficient and effective patrol operations for the citizens of Charleston County in order to create a deterrent to crime, detect and apprehend offenders, and respond to the needs and expectations of the community. The primary functions of these patrols include, but are not limited to, proactive patrol oriented toward the prevention of crimes and collisions and maintenance of public order while fostering a relationship between citizens and the business community of Charleston County.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office offers the Project Lifesaver program for citizens of Charleston County. This program is designed to aid in locating wandering or lost individuals with Alzheimer's, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions. This program is provided at no cost for approved individuals and their families.
To learn more, see a podcast our agency recorded about it.
The Traffic Unit focuses on collision prevention and saving lives through fair and impartial enforcement of all applicable S.C. Criminal Laws and Charleston County ordinances that are relevant to vehicular and pedestrian movement to include DUI enforcement. In addition, the unit also handles many special assignments, including but not limited to parades, dignitary escorts, special events, funeral escorts, and other public relations projects. Members of this unit are also specifically trained in all areas of collision investigation, to include traffic collision reconstruction. The unit also investigates all collisions involving vehicles owned and operated by the County of Charleston.
In an effort to assist victims of and witnesses to crime, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office has established a Victim/Witness Assistance Program. This program offers valuable information and assistance to victims/witnesses concerning their rights under South Carolina Law.
"Victim" as defined by S.C. State Code of Law, Title 16, is a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as the result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime. "Victim" also includes the immediate family of any victim who is minor of who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim.
"Witness" is defined as any person who has been, or is expected to be summoned to testify for either the prosecution or the defense, or who by reason of having relevant information, is subject to call or likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution or defense, whether or not any action or proceeding has yet been commenced.
To the extent reasonably possible and subject to available resources, victims, and witnesses of crime are afforded the following rights under South Carolina Law, Section 16-3-1530.
Incident Reports: Section 16-3-1535 requires that victims be provided a copy of the incident report relating to their case free of charge.
Information: Comprehensive explanation of programs and services provided by various agencies for victims/witnesses of crime, to include restitution.
Referrals: Recommending or obtaining assistance from other sources that are not provided directly by the program.
Counseling: Providing emotional and moral support to the victim during the aftermath of a crime.
Personal Advocacy: Acting on behalf of victims or witnesses to ensure that they receive appropriate assistance from Social Service Agencies and the Criminal Justice System.
Employment Intervention: Interact with employer on behalf of victims to explain time off from work due to court appearances and conferences with law enforcement personnel.
Restitution: Assist victims of violent crimes in completing the appropriate forms for compensation from State Assistance Programs.
The Sheriff's Office is expressly directed by statute to be a conservator of the peace and, therefore, in accordance with the provisions of section 23-15-50 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as amended, must arrest all persons for whom criminal warrants have been issued. Consequently, it is the policy of the Sheriff's Office to carry out these duties in a diligent and timely manner. The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has assigned deputies to investigate and locate defendants to ensure the compliance of state statute and orders of the court.
This office is also responsible for maintaining physical control of all warrants and juvenile pickup orders received by the Sheriff's Office. This office verifies the information on the warrants is complete, accurate, and current with the most up to date information. The Warrants Office is located inside of the main lobby of the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center at 3841 Leeds Avenue, North Charleston SC, 29405.
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