Major S. Balcerzak
Chief Pilot S.Martray
The Air Support Unit provides a full-range of airborne law enforcement support to the Sheriff's Office patrol and specialized units. Also, as the only full-time airborne law enforcement unit on the coast of South Carolina, it routinely provides assistance to every local, state, and federal agency operating in the tri-county area. The unit is actively engaged in homeland security operations and supports Project Seahawk, a multi-agency task force, headed by the U.S. Attorney General's Office, which is responsible for security operations in the Port of Charleston.
It is manned by four full-time pilots and twelve collateral duty Tactical Flight Officers from the surrounding agencies. All pilots have a Commercial Certificate with Instrument Rating and fly at night using the AN/AVS-9 Pinnacle Night Vision Goggles. At all times, a crew is "on call" to quickly respond to a call for service.
The unit operates a 2012 Bell 407GX Helicopter used to support the daily law enforcement missions. Primarily, these missions include patrol, pursuits, fugitive searches, missing persons, drownings, overdue boaters, search and rescue, marijuana eradication, ship escorts, reconnaissance and photo, homeland security missions, and aerial backup during traffic stops, disturbances, and domestics. The helicopter has the following specialized equipment: Garmin 1000H Panel, Wescam MX-10 IR Camera System, Churchill Navigation Augmented Reality Mapping System, 2Color Monitors, Avalex Video Recorder, SAR Direction Finder, NAT P.A. Speaker System, IMT Microwave Downlink System, SX-16 Night Sun Searchlight, and Emergency Floatation System.
Lieutenant M. Knox
Lieutenant J. Nice
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad is made up of both full time and part time members. The members of the Squad under go almost two years of extensive in house and school training before they are bomb technicians. During those two years members must attend the IFFA's Hazardous Materials Technicians Course, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation Hazardous Devices School, in Redstone Arsenal Alabama.
The Bomb Squad has two fully equipped response vehicles. These vehicles contain state of the art diagnostic and render safe equipment, including two ANDROS Robots. These robots allow the technicians to operate in dangerous environments, while maintain a safe distance.
The Bomb Squad augments the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team as one of SWAT's five Elements. As a SWAT Element the Bomb Squad manages and deploys all special munitions, conducts robot operations, and acts as a breaching element employing both mechanical and explosive techniques.
In addition, the Bomb Squad provides technical advice on Federal explosives storage regulations and destruction as well as instruction for Federal, State and local law enforcement.
Lieutenant J. Zealberg
Sergeant Adam Midgett
The Canine Unit employs specially trained dogs and handlers who perform a wide variety of functions. The Canine Unit will deploy bloodhounds for the purpose of tracking suspects and/or missing persons. Other specially trained dogs are used to detect drugs, find cadavers, conduct building searches, track violent suspects, and assist with crowd control. The Canine Unit is frequently called upon to provide support to other jurisdictions.
Lieutenant K. Ford
Lieutenant C. Barton
The Underwater Recovery Team (URT) will respond to any type of water related emergency on a twenty-four hour basis. Assignment to the URT is considered a collateral duty. The URT is supported by the Marine Patrol, and the K-9 team (who uses the cadaver dog in search for drowning victims). The URT is also supported by the Charleston County Rescue Squad. The URT employs a variety of equipment and procedures to search for submerged evidence (i.e. cars, guns, knives, tools, bodies, etc.). Divers carefully measure and triangulate underwater areas in order to reconstruct scenes for subsequent legal proceedings. They are also careful to document each dive to ensure diver safety and enhance courtroom testimony.
Lieutenant D. Maddock
Sergeant A. Fitch
The Marine Patrol consists of a full-time Sergeant and three deputies. Ten other deputies are assigned to the unit on a part-time basis. The marine patrol provides port security, escorts foreign flag vessels into and out of Charleston Harbor, enforces all state and federal laws governing vessels, as well as assisting boaters in distress. The unit also supports the C.C.S.O. Underwater Recovery Team, and provides marine law enforcement support to other agencies in the tri-county area. The unit is also part of the Blue Lightning and SeaHawk Task Forces with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
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Lieutenant M. Knox - Commander
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team is one of seven teams in the State designated to respond to an incident involving a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and/or other event deemed to be terroristic in nature. However, the vast majority of tactical responses occur within the jurisdictional boundaries of Charleston County. These calls for service include, but are not limited to hostage/barricaded gunman situations, high risk search and arrest warrant service, security operations, dignitary protection, and civil disturbances. The team is equipped and trained to operate on water, and in urban and rural environments in both daylight and darkness. The team employs a fully equipped tactical command post vehicle, an armored personnel carrier, and an equipment truck.
The Charleston County SWAT Team is comprised of thirty, sworn deputy sheriffs and ten tactical medics (TEMS) who serve the citizenry of Charleston County on a collateral duty basis. Team members receive more than 200 training hours annually with specialized firearms and equipment, less lethal options, annual physical fitness battery, building entry (to include explosive breaching), building clearing, active shooter training, counter sniper operations, and chemical dispersion.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office was the first in the State to integrate Bomb Squad members with the SWAT Team; allowing for an enhanced tactical response to WMD incidents and explosive environments.
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