2017 has quickly turned the corner and will be gone before we know it.  Law enforcement and public safety in our great country has had a whirlwind year thus far. It started with a new president taking office and uncovered a rift that has remained after a heated presidential election. This rift between the two major political parties is one we have not seen as a nation in quite some time.  The 2016 election was one of the most partisan struggles and is still resonating today.

      Despite these political fights and struggles that occur in Washington D.C., South Carolinians continue to work together to make the Palmetto State a better place to work and live. We have managed to stay above this fray and work through our differences as South Carolinians.  Both sides of the aisle understand the complexities that law enforcement and public safety face.  Despite our political differences, the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians support law enforcement and our mission to provide safe communities.

      Locally, law enforcement has faced some high hurdles at the Statehouse this past session. One of these hurdles was our fight against the legalization of marijuana through the ruse of medical use. We won this round, but make no mistake; this will be an on-going struggle for years to come. We fought off this push for marijuana legalization with support from our communities, churches, and local leaders who have a stake in this state that we call home. The tip of the sword for law enforcement came from State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, outgoing SCLEOA President Gregory Mullen of the Charleston Police Department, and the sheriffs and police chiefs who banded together to provide a unified front.  This front will continue to stand firm in the face of adversity this year.

     SCLEOA will also continue our quest to train our younger officers and keep our leaders informed.  We pledge to work on the streets of our cities and counties and in the halls of our Statehouse. SCLEOA will also be there to champion legislation favorable to the law enforcement officers out there every day and night putting it on the line. Our mission is clear; we are here to be the voice for law enforcement in South Carolina.

     In closing, we hope you will remember our fallen and pray for those on the front line making a stand. Please take a moment to pray for the two South Carolinians killed in the line of duty this year. We lift up the families and co-workers of MPO Jason Harris of Spartanburg Police Department and Deputy Devin Hodges of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. God bless these two who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Know that we are with each and every one of you in our prayers and know we will be looking for you on the front line! 

Sincerely,

Major John E. "JJ" Jones

Lexington County Sheriffs Department & SCLEOA President, 2017-2018

 
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