Support Services

Scan the list below to learn more about the various support services available at BCSO.


  • Airport Security
    The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Airport Security Program is designed to safeguard the civil aviation industry and the traveling public of Beaufort County. In order to ensure a safe and secure environment in which airport tenants may conduct business, Airport Security Officers identify security problems and offer recommendations toward corrective action. They also serve as liaison between Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.) civil security personnel and other law enforcement agencies who are tasked with aviation security responsibilities.
  • Bomb Detection Unit

    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.

  • Courthouse Security

    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:

    • No cellphones or any other electronic devices such as laptops, I-pads, tablets, cameras etc.
    • No Knives or Edged Instrument
    • No Weapons Allowed
    • No Food or Drinks
  • Criminal Intelligence Unit

    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.

  • Crisis Negotiation

    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 jimbu@bcgov.net

  • Dive Team

    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.

  • Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU)

    LITTERING

    To report a littering incident, call the ECU office at (843)255-3510 or contact a deputy via email at:

    Sergeant John Gobel: jgobel@bcgov.net
    Corporal Mike King: mking@bcgov.net

    When reporting a littering incident, the following information should be included (partial information can be helpful):

    1. Vehicle make, model and color.
    2. License plate number.
    3. Time, date and location of the incident.
    4. The nature of the littering.

    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:

    • SECTION 16-11-700
      • A person, from a vehicle or otherwise, may not dump, throw, drop, deposit, discard, or otherwise dispose of litter or other solid waste, as defined by Section 44-96-40(46), upon public or private property or waters in the State including, but not limited to, a highway, park, beach, campground, forest land, recreational area, trailer park, road, street, or alley.
    • SECTION 56-5-4100
      • No vehicle may be driven or moved on any public highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle.
    • SECTION 56-5-4110
      • No person shall operate on any highway any vehicle with any load unless such load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent such covering or load from becoming loose, detached or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.

    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.

    BEACH AND BOAT PATROLS

    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. 

    SCDNR Handbook

  • Evidence and Property Management

    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.

  • General Sessions

    The General Sessions Court Unit is responsible for:

    • The management, integrity and maintenance of all Beaufort County Sheriff's Office criminal cases going to General Sessions Court
    • To prepare and present criminal cases to the Beaufort County Grand Jury
    • Coordinating criminal cases with the Beaufort County Magistrate’s Office for preliminary hearings and assists in notification to individual Deputies for the presentation of their cases.
    • Act as liaison between the Sheriff’s Office and the Solicitor’s Office in reference to General Sessions cases and to provide the Solicitor Office with case documentation needed for trial.
    • Act as the Sheriff’s Office liaison to the Public Defender’s Office as well as to private defense attorneys for General Sessions Subpoenas and other requested information.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    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.”  

  • Information Technologies Unit (IT)
    Coming Soon
  • Public Information Officer (PIO)
    Captain Bob Bromage, the Public Information Officer for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, is responsible for disseminating press releases through Nixle, answering questions from the media, and assisting in community related events. Captain Bromage can be reached at: robertb@bcgov.net or (843)255-3402.
  • Sex Offender Registry

    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: bcsosor@bcgov.net 
  • Special Enforcement Unit (SEU)
    The Special Enforcement Unit has a primary mission to proactively work through communities within Beaufort County which have been identified as having an increase in criminal activity. The unit collects information, identifies problem areas, and utilizes innovative or tailor-made enforcement techniques to either reduce or eliminate the problem.
  • SWAT

    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.

  • Victims Advocacy

    The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Victim's Advocacy Program is designed to serve as liaison between the State and the victim, lending support to the victim and family members. Our Victim's Advocates are familiar with all statutes of law pertaining to victim rights and work to ensure that the Sheriff's Office protects those rights.


    Commonly asked questions about the South Carolina Victim's Advocacy Program. 

    BEAUFORT COUNTY'S VICTIM'S ADVOCATE OFFICERS

    Northern Beaufort County: 

    • Sgt David Wilkinson: (843) 255-3420
    • Cpl John Ferguson: (843) 255-3410

    Southern Beaufort County: 

    • Cpl Meredith Florencio: (843) 255-3419