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VIDEO: Sheriff Koon’s Journey of Service in Lexington

July 16, 2019 | Posted By: Connor Watkins

Sheriff Koon was excited to speak to members at July’s breakfast meeting specifically in the RADIUS Church building as it was a popular dime store he remembers
from childhood sharing the property with Piggly Wiggly. Relishing the happy memories of the Lexington of yesterday is important. But it is also important
to look back to where you came from when you are rebuilding, as our sheriff’s term began with troubled waters. The Sheriff’s Department has had to
pick up the pieces over the years in reestablishing accountability and transparency with the media and in serving the citizens. In today’s world it
is not only hard to be an officer of the law but also navigate and persevere through the trials Sheriff Koon has encountered since his election in
2015.

The economic boom has made it hard to recruit and retain officers. Sheriff Koon described recruitment to be similar to that of college football recruitment.
The departments has had to implement sign-on bonuses, increase benefits and add collateral duty pay. He gladly announced they have approved double
time holiday pay for eight holidays officers are working.

The increased population with the boom has also increased the need for more locations for first responders. The county has purchased land off of Hamilton
Street in the west region off Highway 1 where they have already opened a satellite police station. They will be opening an EMS and Fire Department
there near the strawberry patch. The detention center built in 1975 along with the “new jail” built in the early 2000s is full. Although they are down
to 700 from 1,000 inmates, they need to be closer to 600. Studies are being conducted to access the needs for the detention center.

In serving the citizens through countless disasters – 1,000 year flood, hurricanes, winter storms, a tornado, the largest train wreck since Graniteville,
a plane crash, a solar eclipse as well as through last month’s wreck involving an officer and a DUI, the sheriff is proud of how his department has
served Lexington.

 

This breakfast meeting was sponsored by Jeff Howle with Healthmarkets Insurance, who gives
guidance and solutions with regards to the needs for health insurance, health sharing solutions including medi-share, life insurance, disability insurance
and medicare insurance

Join fellow Chamber members at the next breakfast on Tuesday, August 13 at 7:30 a.m. at RADIUS
Church where Dr. Ronald L. Rhames, President of Midlands Technical College, will give the keynote address!