Deputy Spotlight: Jonathan Belt

Detention deputy Jonathan Belt found himself as a young high school graduate without a clear career path. 

He decided to take a chance at a career in corrections, and the rest is history. 

Belt’s job essentially makes him a community servant because he takes care of citizens’ family members that may or may not have been found guilty. 

“If I can do a job that 90 percent of people run from, at the end of the day, I can say I’m one of those 10 percent,” Belt said. 

Belt became a field training officer after two years, so he immediately noticed the quality of advancement in the Lexington County Detention Center. 

“That’s one of the things that’s kept me here for so long,” Belt said. “I came with no experience, fresh into corrections.”

Belt credits his co-workers as another reason for his long tenure. Twelve-hour shifts mean he seems them more than his family sometimes, so his co-workers are his second family.

“Having your brothers and sisters as officers with you helps you out a lot,” Belt said. “If you’re going through something personal, something at home, they’re here like a family. They’re going to have your back and talk to you in private. They’re going to say ‘share with me what’s going on.”

In addition to this family atmosphere, Belt’s favorite aspect of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is the training the agency provides, including paying for employees to go to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. 

“They can take somebody with no college degree, nothing like I had, and make something out of them,” Belt said. “The only thing they have to contribute is their time and the right attitude.”

Reflecting on his time at LCSD, Belt continuously looks for new employees like he was when he started out. 

“It made me into the leader I am today.”