School resource officer programs are built on the selection of qualified officers, chosen for their willingness and ability to work with students and educators. Effective SROs are motivated by opportunities to proactively address safety issues, build effective working relationships with school staff, and positively impact the lives of children.
Lexington County School Resource Officer Keith Sprinkle made his way back home to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in January 2022 after leaving for a few years. Sprinkle was originally appointed to serve Lexington County in September 2010 as a patrol deputy. He spent years as a patrol deputy, on the DUI Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic team, a crime scene investigator and a patrol sergeant. He then accepted a federal law enforcement job in Columbia. Sprinkle stayed in that role for almost four years before realizing it was not what he wanted in his career. He realized LCSD was home, calling it “the best law enforcement agency in the Midlands and…one of the top in the state.”
As a Lexington native, Sprinkle knew the Sheriff’s Department and wanted to make a positive impact on the community. Serving the community he grew up in is a full-circle moment.
“What stands us out from anybody is the backing we have from within the agency and in the community,” Sprinkle said. “It hits my heart when people go out of their way to tell you, ‘Thank you!’”
Sprinkle has experienced many of these heartfelt instances, whether at a gas pump, inside a restaurant, at a fast-food drive-thru or inside a school.
Sprinkle has a twin brother who hasn’t lived in South Carolina since 2009, but is active in the military.
“Every now and then, he will tell me, ‘Thank you for keeping our home safe,’” Sprinkle said. “He tells me that because even he sees that it’s special that I get to watch over, protect and serve our hometown.”
Sprinkle’s passion for law enforcement started at an early age as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education Camper.
“I had a really good D.A.R.E. officer back in elementary school,” Sprinkle said.
Sprinkle serves students at Lexington High School and the Lexington Technology Center.
“To be able to go to work, be effective, and do the best job you can at work and come home and be a great husband and father, I’m very proud to say that I’m able to handle both,” Sprinkle said. “I know it’s cliché, but I got into this career because I wanted to serve people and help people.”
Sprinkle credits his former bosses and co-workers at the Sheriff’s Department for his ability to move up in his career.
“At this agency, it’s just been supported everywhere, and I think that’s another thing that makes this agency very special.”
Sprinkle wants to join the Major Crimes Unit later in his time at the Sheriff’s Department, but for now, he finds value in protecting a different part of the community.
“It’s really awesome that I get to have that direct effect on children and young adults.”
If you are looking to make a positive impact on the community and the future generation of Lexington County click here to learn more about becoming a School Resource Officer.