The mission of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad is to provide final disposition after rendering safe improvised explosive devices (IED), military ordnance, commercial explosives, incendiary devices, bomb threats and illegal fireworks. The Bomb Squad is trained and equipped to detect and render safe various chemical, biological, and radiological devices. Additional responsibilities of the Bomb Squad are post-blast investigation, recruit training, VIP protection details, SWAT/COBRA team support, and the assistance of outside agencies.
Members of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad maintain Federal Bureau of Investigations Bomb Technician certifications as well as Haz-Mat technician level and SCUBA diver certifications. Each member has also attended a six-week Hazardous Device course at the United States Army's Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Bomb Squad is extremely well-equipped due to a high level of support from Sheriff's Office management and the aggressive use of Homeland Security grant funding. The Bomb Squad has taken delivery of a large amount of new equipment in the past year to include a new truck, bomb suits, digital x-ray, and render-safe equipment.
The Bomb Squad has a trained and certified canine team that can assist the Squad on calls. The canine handler, who is a certified Bomb Technician, utilizes a German Shepherd as an explosive detection dog to sweep areas that could contain hidden hazardous devices.
If you should need to speak with a Bomb Technician regarding a bomb incident or investigation, please contact the Beaufort County Communications Center at 911.
The Courthouse Security Unit provides security for the Beaufort County Courthouse. The officers assigned to this unit are responsible for the overall safety and security of all courtroom visitors, employees, jurors, judges and defendants.
THE BEAUFORT COUNTY COURTHOUSE BUILDING WILL NOT ALLOW THE FOLLOWING ITEMS INTO THE COURTHOUSE:
The mission of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence Unit is to provide timely and accurate information regarding criminal activity, crime trends and identifying crime suspects. This mission is accomplished by collecting, evaluating, analyzing, and disseminating information pertaining to Beaufort County and from other jurisdictions that may adversely affect Beaufort County. This includes providing processes for collating and analyzing information collected by the operational units of the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.
Information sharing has emerged as a key element in law enforcement strategies to prevent terrorist incidents and control crime. The growth of fusion centers and regional information sharing partnerships produce real time data sharing.
In 2012, Sheriff PJ Tanner directed a change to the organization and mission for the Criminal Intelligence Unit of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The directive was to increase information resources by implementing a Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) along with proactive crime reduction strategies. The Unit was reassigned from the Administrative Division to the Office of the Chief of Staff.
The Criminal Intelligence Unit provides the Command Staff with essential information so that the operational units charged with the arrest responsibility can take the necessary enforcement action. Sheriff Tanner has directed that the Sheriff’s Office Branch Commanders are to be responsible for establishing proactive strategies that target crime and community problems in their respective areas of responsibility.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team is specifically trained in the use of negotiation techniques designed to diffuse and resolve critical, high-risk situations. Incidents involving barricaded subjects, hostage-takers, or persons threatening suicide represent especially trying and stressful moments for the law enforcement personnel who respond to them. When called upon, Crisis Negotiators must be able establish contact with these individuals, identify their demands and work collectively to resolve tense and often volatile standoffs without loss of life. Prepared to respond to any part of Beaufort County or adjacent jurisdiction upon request, the Crisis Negotiation Team is on call seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
For more information regarding the Crisis Negotiation Team, please contact team supervisor, Major Jim Bukoffsky, at (843) 255-3502 or email@example.com.
Beaufort County and it's surrounding areas include many waterways. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Dive Team was created in order to provide critical law enforcement response to incidents occurring in these waterways.
The Dive Team responds to underwater crime scenes, and performs underwater evidence recovery and body recovery. This team also supports the SWAT Team during tactical waterborne operations and responds to calls in other jurisdictions as need may arise according to mutual aid agreements.
The Dive Team is equipped with a 24-foot Zodiac boat, specially designed for dive operations. This team also utilizes the Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit's Cadaver Dog, which is certified to locate bodies under water.
For more information regarding the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Dive Team, contact Captain Scott Johnson at (843) 255-3701.
To report a littering incident, call the ECU office at (843)255-3510 or contact a deputy via email at:
When reporting a littering incident, the following information should be included (partial information can be helpful):
CIGARETTE BUTTS are considered LITTER as well as a FIRE HAZARD.
Fines can range from $470 to $1092.50 and/or jail accompanied by eight (8) hours community service.
Excerpts from South Carolina Code of Laws:
Every litter conviction carries a MANDATORY community service LITTER PICK-UP.
Keep Beaufort County Beautiful, the Coalition Against Litter, and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office have implemented a way for Beaufort County citizens to help fight litter in Beaufort County. In September of 2001, Sheriff P.J. Tanner, along with Keep Beaufort County Beautiful, launched an anti-litter campaign.
In order to raise awareness of littering laws (Beaufort County Ordinance No. 2002-11 and South Carolina Title 56, Chapter 7, Section 16-11-700), the Sheriff's Office is asking the citizens of Beaufort County to assist law enforcement help identify the people responsible for littering our highways, waterways and open space by reporting any acts of littering they have witnessed.
When the Sheriff's Office receives a citizen report of a littering incident, deputies will attempt to identify the violator. If the violator is identified, the Sheriff's Office will send the violator a letter explaining the law and its consequences. A citation will be issued if there is enough evidence to prosecute the case. The violator could face up to $1,000 fine and/or community service. "People will think twice when they realize throwing trash out of the window may cost them their paycheck or a week's worth of work in community service," said Sheriff P.J. Tanner.
Citizens can also report littering incidents by calling the Beaufort County Non-Emergency Dispatch at (843) 524-2777.
With over 250,000 beachgoers each year, beach patrol is a necessary and effective form of law enforcement for those who visit our beautiful beaches and waterways. Assisted by the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Environmental Crimes Unit provides year-round service to Beaufort County residents, guests and visitors.
This unit utilizes four watercraft: Keywest Stealth (17 ft), Scout Sportfish (19 ft), Seapro CC Bayboat (21 ft) and Keywest CC (22 ft). Seasonal beach patrol is also provided for the public beaches on Hilton Head Island and Hunting Island State Park with the use of all-terrain vehicles.
The Evidence and Property Section is placed organizationally in the Administrative Division and is responsible for the receipt, storage, safekeeping, release of all evidence, found and recovered property entrusted into the care of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. A traceable property management system is utilized to ensure that evidence is handled, documented and preserved to prevent contamination and /or inadmissibility in court. This protocol begins at the receipt of an item and concludes after the item has been legally and properly disposed.
The Evidence and Property Supervisor is a commissioned officer assigned by the Sheriff of Beaufort County. The supervisor is responsible for the overall operation of the section. The supervisor and two sworn officers maintain the integrity and security of approximately 15,000 items submitted each year. All property is preserved from the time submitted, through the investigations, analysis and the court system, to the time it is returned to the owner and/or disposed.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Evidence and Property Section personnel strive for the highest levels of integrity, security, efficiency, and professionalism at all times.
If you have any questions regarding property or evidence submitted to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, please call (843) 255-3600 or email BCSOEvidence@bcgov.net.
The General Sessions Court Unit is responsible for:
How can I check on the status of a General Sessions case in Beaufort County?
The status of all General Sessions cases in Beaufort County can be checked for status and viewed at http://publicindex.sccourts.org/beaufort/publicindex/ or http://www.beaufortcourt.org/
What is General Sessions Court?
South Carolina Circuit Courts are divided into two divisions:
1) General Sessions (criminal court); and
2) Common Pleas (civil court).
General Sessions Court handles felony and misdemeanor criminal cases ranging from those with a penalty of more than 30 days and / or a $500 fine to those carrying the death penalty.
The Magistrate and Municipal court system handles misdemeanor offenses with a penalty of 30 days or less and / or a fine of up to $500.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Felony and misdemeanor are legal terms describing the seriousness of a crime. A felony is a very serious crime. Felonies generally carry long prison sentences of a year or more. Examples of a felony are attempted murder and cocaine trafficking.
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime. Misdemeanors carry shorter prison sentences. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include simple possession of marijuana, simple assault and battery, and tampering with an electric meter.
State law classifies crimes as felonies and others as misdemeanors. Title 16 of the South Carolina Code contains a list of felonies and misdemeanors.
What is a Preliminary Hearing?
These hearings are available to defendants charged with serious offenses triable only in General Sessions Court. The defendant has the right to request a preliminary hearing within 10 days of the bond hearing.
What is the Grand Jury?
A Grand Jury is a panel of citizens convened by the court to decide whether it is appropriate to bring charges against someone suspected of a crime. If the Grand Jury decides there is reason to bring someone to trial, it returns a “true bill” and issues an indictment. If it finds insufficient reason, it returns a “no bill.”
The Office for Professional Responsibility (OPR) is an administrative investigative branch within the Sheriff's Office specifically designated to fully investigate formal complaints lodged by citizens who believe that a law enforcement situation has not been handled satisfactorily. This procedure allows for the protection of the interests of both the citizen and the law enforcement officer.
To formally submit a complaint to the Sheriff's Office, please complete a Complaint Form by following the below listed instructions:
For more information or questions, please contact Lt. Brian Baird at (843) 255-3405.
|COMPLAINT INVESTIGATIONS INQUIRIES|
Year of 2016
|POLYGRAPHS ADMINISTERED |
Year of 2016
According to state statute (Statute 23-3-400), the sheriff of each county is responsible for registering all sex offenders convicted of offenses that warrant registration and for maintaining a file on each offender to include a fingerprint card, current rap sheet, registration form, and photograph of the offender. When a convicted sex offender fails to register with Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, the appropriate action is taken to affect the registration (Statute 23-3-450).
The sex offender management application program previously used by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was through a vendor, OffenderWatch, which is no longer available. However, SLED has decided to now provide this service for South Carolina via a program they have developed called SORT.
The NEW state developed Sex Offender Registry (SORT) program is now accessible to the public.
Please keep in mind features and functionality to its website are being added and edited daily, so please use the contact information provided below in order to contact any BCSO Registering Officials.
|BCSO Registering Agency Officials:||Cpl. John Ferguson||(843) 255-3410|
|Sgt David Wilkinson||(843) 255-3420|
|To Email BCSO Officials:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Specialized training and equipment enable the S.W.A.T. Team (Special Weapons and Tactics) to handle non-traditional and/or life-threatening situations more effectively than regular law enforcement units. The S.W.A.T. Team assists in cases involving such situations as barricaded suspects, hostage rescues, downed officer/citizen rescues, drug raids, attempted suicides, high risk warrant services and VIP escorts. This team also assists with specialized training for deputies in other units.
In addition to local law enforcement duties, the S.W.A.T. Team lends support in specialized operations conducted by federal agencies such as the United States Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshal's Service.
For more information regarding the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office S.W.A.T. Team, contact Captain Scott Johnson at (843)255-3701.
Commonly asked questions about the South Carolina Victim's Advocacy Program.
Northern Beaufort County:
Southern Beaufort County: