PURPOSE OF PROGRAM
The Sheriff’s Department’s Law Enforcement Correctional Officer (LECO) Program provides employees serving as Correctional Officers, who may not otherwise meet certain Patrol Deputy eligibility-requirements, a pathway to transition into a Patrol Deputy position. The LECO Program gives participants valuable experience as a Correctional Officer as well as the opportunity to participate in a defined training curriculum to prepare the employee for successfully obtaining certification as a Class-1 Law Enforcement Officer through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
To be eligible to apply to the LECO Program through the Sheriff’s Department’s pre-employment process, individuals must, at a minimum, possess an Associate’s Degree or have at least two (2) years of prior military service. Additionally, the new hire LECO applicant must satisfactorily meet all other standard pre-employment screening requirements for the position of Patrol Deputy and Correctional Officer.
Individuals selected to participate in the LECO Program will, upon hire, be required to serve as a Correctional Officer for a period of two and a half (2-1/2) years. At the completion of two (2) years of service as a Correctional Officer with the Sheriff’s Department, the employee will enter a defined training curriculum designed to specifically prepare the Correctional Officer to attend the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and to successfully obtain certification as a Class-1 law enforcement officer. While participating in this six-month preparatory training, the employee will continue to work as a Correctional Officer. After the satisfactory completion of the defined training curriculum, the employee will be enrolled at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy to pursue Class-1 law enforcement officer certification. Upon successful graduation from the Academy, the employee will return in the Patrol Deputy position. Disciplinary action or otherwise poor work performance as a Correctional Officer may prohibit the employee from further participation in the LECO Program.