Lexington County Sheriff’s Department: Growth Through the Years

With our department now totaling more than 500 employees, it’s hard to believe that 200 years ago it was all a one-man operation. The first reported sheriff of Lexington County was Thomas Herbert who was appointed to office in 1806. Hebert lived and worked in the jail and courthouse, which was located in the town of Granby (present day Cayce, SC). Since then, we’ve had more than 35 sheriffs lead our department (full list here).

Like many of Lexington County’s public safety departments, the early days of the Sheriff’s Department were greatly influenced by the Civil War. In fact, many of our former sheriffs were veterans of the four-year war. With General William T. Sherman’s infamous march through South Carolina leading to the burning of the county’s third courthouse and jail, it forced people to find ways to care for the wounded and protect their home the best they could.

Most of the jails and courthouses were located on Main Street in the town of Lexington, including the old courthouse and jail built in 1940, part of which is still standing today. When it was first built, the jail housed a maximum of 42 inmates. By the 1960s, the facility was too small to accommodate the sheriff’s needs and a new law enforcement facility was constructed in the late 1970s. 

Fast forward to today, and the facility still serves as the main headquarters for LCSD. Originally built in 1999, the jail we currently use has been renovated to now house a rated capacity of 599. Our department now has roles ranging from records technicians to a dive team and serves an estimated 311,00 people in Lexington County, South Carolina.

As the county continues to experience rapid growth due to its outstanding quality of life and affordable cost of living, we continue to keep up with the pace and changing law enforcement needs.

For more about what it’s like to live and work in Lexington County, click here.