A sense of community is what makes Lexington County so special, and it’s why we’re proud to call it home. Community isn’t something that happens overnight – it’s built on trust, shared values and familiarity.
A great relationship between the Sheriff’s Department and the community we serve helps us all stay safe and builds on that feeling of community here in Lexington County.
It’s why one of our most-experienced deputies, Sergeant Lee Barrett, heads up a number of programs to help our department and the Lexington County community get to know one another and be the best we can be…together.
A Lexington County native, Sgt. Barrett grew up in the Oak Grove area and began his career at the Lexington County Detention Center in 1992 working in dispatch and at the booking desk. He served at other agencies but couldn’t resist coming home to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department family in 2001 as part of the human resources and training division.
“I was back in college working toward my bachelor’s degree. The chief deputy came back and said he wanted me to work in a new Telecommunications Report Unit,” Barrett remembers. “I was part of the first Telecommunications Report Unit for the agency, taking telephone reports over the phone.”
After breaking new ground in the Telecommunications Unit, Barrett then moved to patrol deputy and was promoted to resident deputy of the Dixiana community in 2003.
An advocate for the community throughout his career, Barrett continued to progress as a Community Services Bureau sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department’s South Region for eight years and the West Region for three years.
Barrett was also a CSB sergeant and supervised Lexington County School Districts One, Three and Four. He recalls: “I was the supervisor for School Resource Officers and was responsible for code enforcement for resident deputies. Being supervisor of the districts was the most enjoyable part of my job because I got more fluent in that area of expertise.”
Today, as sergeant of the Community Action Team, Barrett partners with various businesses, churches, charity and civic groups throughout Lexington County.
You’ll find him and his team leading the way on programs such as Shop With a Cop for children in the care of the Department of Social Services during the Christmas holiday, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, and the Sheriff’s Department’s Citizens Academy. He’s a busy guy!
The Special Olympics program is especially close to his heart. Barrett sits on the International Board of Directors representing 96 Special Olympics programs across the globe. A champion for community inclusion, he was selected as part of the torch-bearing team for the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, holding the Flame of Hope up high as they ran through host country Austria.
“We have been fighting for inclusion for all athletes,” Barrett said. “In talking to an athlete, I learned they just want to be a part of it. They just want to be a part of a team.”
Both as a citizen and throughout his time with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Barrett has learned how an open mind and a giving heart can help build a community and really make a place feel like home.
Could you help build a sense of community like Sgt. Barrett? Take a look at current openings at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and be a part of our well-respected department and welcoming community.