Sheriff Lott says females are “vital” to the overall mission

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

In its ongoing recognition and celebration of Women’s History Month, March 1-31, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) had two separate groups of female deputies within the department photographed earlier in the month: It was understandably impossible – given the nature of their shifts and schedules – to gather all of them together at one time for a single photo-shoot.

As one of the largest law-enforcement agencies in South Carolina, RCSD fields approximately 800 duly sworn deputies (both men and women) of more than 900 employees total including non-sworn civilian personnel.

Approximately 260 of the 900 employees are female with 177 of the 800 sworn deputies also female including patrol deputies, investigators, school resource officers, training instructors, and Special Response Team operators among others. Of the 800 sworn deputies, eight are chiefs (aka deputy chiefs) all of whom are one rank below sheriff. with three of the eight chiefs being women.

“The women of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department are among our most accomplished, decorated, and necessary law-enforcement leaders,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “They are not only tough, smart, caring, compassionate, and vital to our overall mission; but by their very natures seem to bring about a heightened sense of crisis de-escalation regardless of incident or circumstance.”

Lott adds: “I’m always looking to increase the numbers of women within the department.”

For additional information about the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, please visit –

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