Chief Deputy Eric Watson is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He was educated in Charleston County's public school system. He is a graduate of Burke High School. He served 15 years in the United States Army Reserve and is a Gulf War veteran. He was awarded a number of commendation medals during his military service. Chief Deputy Watson has been employed with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office for more than 25 years. He graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, where he received certifications in basic jail operations and basic law enforcement.
Chief Deputy Watson holds an associate's degree in criminal justice and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration. He attended the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia, where he received a criminal justice education certification. Chief Deputy Watson is attending Walden University, where he is pursuing his master's degree in criminal justice leadership and executive management. Chief Deputy Watson is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI South Carolina Command College. He serves as a guest lecturer on community policing for the FBI National Academy. He is a graduate of the Diversity Leaders Initiative at Furman University. He has completed the Chief Executive Leadership Program at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville. He is certified as a peer-coach by Charleston County Government. He received his mentoring-coaching certification from the College of Charleston.
Currently, Chief Deputy Watson manages law enforcement operations and strategic leadership planning for the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. He has worked in a variety of leadership positions at the Sheriff’s Office, which included serving as the agency spokesman. He volunteers and dedicates a tremendous amount of his personal time to speaking events, community events, educational forums and mentoring youths.
Chief Deputy Watson is a member of the National Information Officers Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), South Carolina FBI Association, FBI National Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers' Association and International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Deputy Watson serves on the Board of Directors for the Charleston Youth Development Center. He serves on criminal justice advisory boards for Miller-Motte Technical College and Trident Technical College. Chief Deputy Watson also serves as the vice president of Father-to-Father Inc. He is a recipient of the Charleston County 2018 Republican Party North Star Award and a 2019 recipient of the South Carolina National Action Network Triumph Award. He is a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.
Chief Deputy Watson's quote:
"Building and maintaining sustainable trust between law enforcement and the community is paramount to law enforcement effectiveness; law enforcement leaders will be seen as ineffective if they fail to recognize the importance of that relationship."Read more
Please select one of the 6 divisions of Operations for more information.
Charleston County Sheriff's Office
3691 Leeds Avenue
Charleston, SC 29405
(Includes: Criminal Investigations, Patrol Division
& Security Threat Analysis)
Major Billy Hutchinson
(Includes: Metro Major Case Unit, Tactical Support
& Operations Support)
Major Todd Smoak
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