Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host its seventh Coffee with a Cop on May 19th, 2016

Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues

Coffee With A Cop Logo

(Walhalla, SC)—On May 19th, officers from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members and the public are invited to attend. The event begins at 7pm on May 19th at The Westminster Depot at 135 East Main Street in Westminster. Please contact Jimmy Watt with questions: 864-638-4199 or jwatt@oconeelaw.com.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Oconee County neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to Host the Second of Two April Pill Take Back Days This Saturday

Picture One - April 23rd, 2016 Pill Take Back Day

Picture Three - April 23rd, 2016 Pill Take Back Day

Picture Two - April 23rd, 2016 Pill Take Back Day

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting the second of two Pill Take Back Days in the month of April this coming Saturday.

The Pill Take Back Day will be held this Saturday, April 30th from 10am until 2pm in Walhalla at the Law Enforcement Center at 300 South Church Street as part of the National Pill Take Back Day.

Citizens can bring their old or no longer used medications or vitamins to the drop off sites to have them disposed of properly.

“These take back days will make it possible for us to collect and safely dispose of these medications to prevent them from getting into the hands of our children or prevent them from damaging the environment by being disposed in the wrong places,” according to Lt. Jeremy Chapman of the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

“In order to keep our incinerator in good working order, we are also asking those who bring the medications to our collection areas to bring them in the marked prescription bottle open the bottles and dump them into the container. After that, our citizens can recycle the prescription bottles themselves,” continues Lt. Chapman.

This past Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office collected 267 pounds of prescription medication in pill and liquid form, plus, vitamins, supplements and over the counter medications as part of the semi-annual Hazardous Household Waste Collection Day at Seneca High School.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office collected approximately 910 pounds of pill and liquid prescription medication during four Pill Take Back Days.

Three Charged In Detention Center Fight

SLED Logo

Jacob Drotning

Jacob Drotning

Kenneth Strother Collins, Jr.

Kenneth Strother Collins, Jr.

Travis Javon Lee

Travis Javon Lee

Release Courtesy of Thom Berry
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Agents of the S.C. Law Enforcement Division Tuesday charged three inmates of the Oconee County Detention Center in connection with an altercation in the detention center April 16, 2016.

Travis Javon Lee, 21, and Jacob Daniel Drotning, 40, both of Seneca, S.C., were charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty upon conviction of up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

Kenneth Strother Collins, Jr., 25, of Walhalla, S.C., was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty upon conviction of up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $500, or both.

Lee, Drotning and Collins were booked at the Oconee County Detention Center.

The case was investigated by SLED at the request of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

The cases will be prosecuted by the 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Invites Residents to Sign Up for the 3rd Citizens Police Academy

Citizens Police Academy Logo

Citizens Police Academy Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is inviting Oconee County residents to sign up now for the 3rd Citizens Police Academy that will give individuals a chance to experience what a day in the life of a police officer is all about.

Citizens of Oconee County can sign up now for the classes at the website of the Sheriff’s Office at www.oconeelaw.com by clicking on the “Citizens Police Academy” link near the upper right portion of the website. Applications will need to be printed off and mailed to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 415 South Pine Street, Walhalla, SC 29691.

Those who are selected will have a chance to meet the Command Staff and many of the deputies of the Sheriff’s Office. Some of the topics covered will be patrol operations, equipment and its uses, criminal investigations, E-911 communications, SWAT team operations, plus a judicial overview by one of the local judges, information on detention and narcotics. On a Saturday during the classes, instructees will observe a SWAT team demonstration. At the conclusion of the classes, those who participate will be given a shirt, a certificate and a class photo.

There is a selection process for those who sign up, which includes a background check, according to Sgt. Mike McGowan, Sheriff’s Office Coordinator of the Citizens Police Academy. Sgt. McGowan is hoping to reach demographics from every walk of life in Oconee County, with the class size limited to 25 due to logistic limitations. The classes will meet for 10 consecutive weeks on Tuesday evenings with one Saturday meeting for the SWAT demonstration.

Participation in all the classes is important, according to Sgt. McGowan, due to the fact of the volume of information that is going to be presented. Missing two of more classes may result in a disqualification from the program.

The dates for the third “Citizens Police Academy” will be each Tuesday from Tuesday, August 30th until Tuesday, November 1st from 6pm until 9pm each night. The SWAT demonstration will take place at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Advance Firearms and Tactical Training Center on Saturday, September 24th from 9am until 12 noon. All those who are selected with be notified. There is no cost for those who are selected for the “Citizens Police Academy.”

Those who participate and graduate from this year’s class will join the graduates of the first two Citizens Police Academy classes in the “Citizens Police Academy Alumni.” These alumni will have an opportunity to support the Sheriff’s Office by encouraging participation in future academies and to promote the Sheriff’s Office through their contact with others outside the Sheriff’s Office.

Last November, 21 Oconee citizens graduated from the 2nd Citizens Police Academy.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Solving Stolen Mailbox Case

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to a recent stolen mailbox case.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address in the 1100 block of Coffee Road near Walhalla the afternoon of April 13th in regards to a call in which the victim’s mailbox and custom post made out of wrought iron was taken from the property . The mailbox had the letter “W” in it.

The value of the whole package is around $300. It does not appear that any mail was taken from the mailbox but the Sheriff’s Office says it is a good time to remind our citizens to help protect their mail from being stolen.

“This is the only case we have a report on regarding a stolen mailbox in the last few weeks,” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. “While we have not seen a rash of these type of incidents, we ask our citizens especially to protect their mail as much as possible not only due to the stealing of personal property but also to protect themselves against identity theft with the proclivity of fraud cases that we do see.”

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind homeowners that it is not a good idea to put mail, especially checks, inside an unsecure mailbox with the flag raised. Instead, if you are unable to make it to the post office, you may want to call your local post office and make arrangements to meet you postal carrier to personally hand them something that needs to be mailed.
There are also other steps you can take to protect your mail from being stolen, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:
• Use letter slots inside the post office to mail letters or bills or hand it to your mail carrier.
• If you change your address, notify the Post Office and anyone you do business with immediately.
• Don’t send cash in the mail.
• If you plan to be out of town, notify your postal carrier to stop or hold your mail until you return. You can also ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail while you are away.
• Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave your mail overnight in the mailbox.
• If you don’t receive a check or valuable mail you have been expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
• Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered.
• If you suspect mail theft, contact your Postal Inspector.
For more information, visit the website of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/.
If you have any information on the mailbox theft that was reported on April 13th from the 1100 block of Coffee Road, you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crime Stoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Liberty Man on Multiple Charges, Including Attempted Murder

Frederick Sloan Parrington

Frederick Sloan Parrington

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Liberty, SC man Friday morning on multiple charges, including a charge of Attempted Murder.

56 year old Frederick Sloan Parrington of Freedom Forest Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:02am Friday.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a location on OKelley Road near Westminster on Thursday evening of last week in regards to a reported disturbance involving a person with a weapon who had made threats and was reportedly intoxicated.

The subject in question reportedly was leaving the residence in a black in color Dodge pickup and was heading toward Cobb Bridge Road but the responded deputy made contact with the vehicle and the subject, later identified as Parrington, at the intersection of Stephens Drive and OKelley Road. As the investigation began, deputies discovered a knife on the person of Parrington.

The deputy responded to the incident location and spoke with a witness. The deputy learned that Parrington spoke to the witness about issues he was having with the victim in the case. The victim told the deputy that Parrington banged on his front door, whereupon the victim opened the door and saw Parrington outside. Parrington made a threat towards the victim, produced a knife and swung it at the victim. Parrington continued to make threats even though the victim told Parrington to leave the property.

Parrington eventually left the residence but was placed under arrest and was later charged in warrants with Attempted Murder, Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime and Refusal to Leave upon Request. An inventory of Parrington’s vehicle incident to arrest produced an open bottle of liquor in the front of the vehicle with the seal broken, for which Parrington was issued a traffic ticket for Transporting Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle with the Seal Broken.

Parrington was given no bond for the charges of Attempted Murder and the Weapons Possession Charge. Parrington’s combined surety bond amount on the other charges (Refusal to Leave upon Request and the Broken Seal charge) is $732.50.

Parrington remains in custody at the Detention Center at this time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests South Carolina Man on Grand Larceny Charges

Charles Edward Thrift

Charles Edward Thrift

Christopher Nicholas Elgin

Christopher Nicholas Elgin

David Ronald Revels, Jr.

David Ronald Revels, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man with addresses in Seneca and Greer, SC over the weekend on charges of Grand Larceny related to a case from October of 2015.

41 year old David Ronald Revels, Jr. was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:56pm last Friday afternoon. An arrest warrant lists his address as Deer Knoll Drive in Seneca while the Detention Center lists his address as Jordan Road in Greer.

Revels, Jr. was picked up by a deputy from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division from the Anderson County Detention Center and brought to Oconee County.

Revels is the third person arrested in case from late October of last year in which a utility trailer and a Hustler zero turn mower were taken from a residence on Highway 182 in Fair Play sometime between October 29th and October 30th. The trailer and mower were valued at around $4,500.

The investigation began on October 30th when a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division spoke with victim by phone regarding the stolen items. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that Revels, Jr., along with 28 year old Christopher Nicholas Elgin of Short Street in Fair Play and 28 year old Charles Edward Thrift of West-Oak Highway in Westminster, took the items from the property, traveled outside of Oconee County, where the items were sold and the proceeds split among the three parties.

Elgin was served his arrest warrant at the Detention Center on November 18th and was released from the Detention Center on November 19th on a $10,000 Personal Recognizance Bond. Thrift was arrested served his warrant at the Detention Center on November 18th. Thrift remains in custody at the Detention Center as a hold has been placed on him by Anderson County.

Revels, Jr. was given a $10,000 personal recognizance bond for the Grand Larceny charge. A hold has been placed on Revels, Jr. by Probation, Parole and Pardons in Spartanburg County.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking the Public’s Help Regarding Recent Seneca Area Home Invasion

Nebo Chruch Road Invasion Composite Drawing

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a recent home invasion that occurred in the Seneca area.

The Sheriff’s Office is also releasing a composite sketch of an individual that investigators are seeking the identity of in relation to this incident.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on Nebo Church Road late in the evening of April 16th in regards to a reported home invasion in which the victim said that three black males had entered the residence, two of which were reportedly armed.

The subject in the composite drawing the Sheriff’s Office released is reportedly the same individual who asked the victim for money while making threats to harm the victim and eventually striking the victim in the face.

The subjects made away with a small amount of money plus some electronics items with a value of around $1,700.

The first subject, according to the victim, had on a dark gray or black hoody sweatshirt and gray sweat pants. The second subject was reportedly wearing a dark hoody and jeans while subject three was wearing dark colored hoody with blue jeans. None appeared to have any facial hair or tattoos and all appeared to be in their 20’s and all were around 6 feet tall with slender builds. The subjects reportedly left in a small, dark color “box” shaped vehicle.

An investigator with the Criminal Investigations Division was called to the scene and evidence was gathered as the investigation began.

If anyone has any information on the April 16th home invasion on Nebo Church Road in Seneca or the identity of the individual in the composite sketch in relation to the case, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crime Stoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Child Abuse Awareness Event Scheduled for Tomorrow in Seneca

Child Abuse Awareness Event

(Walhalla, SC)——————————A Child Abuse Awareness Event is scheduled for tomorrow evening in Seneca at the Gignilliat Community Center at 621 North Townville Street in Seneca.
This event coincides with National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is recognized in April. Several groups, organizations and vendors including the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, will be there.
The event is free to the public from 6pm until 11pm.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Offers Tips to Avoid Being Victims of Crime

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————————With the weather warming up and more people attending events and parties, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to provide tips to help individuals not to become victims of a crime.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to provide these tips in the wake of the arrest yesterday of 19 year old Stokes Avinger Brownlee of St. George, South Carolina on one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree in an incident that was reported last weekend.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips:

• In remote locations and after dark, stay in groups of two or more with individuals known to you and remain in well-lit areas.
• If under the age of 21, avoid alcohol and if over the age of 21, avoid overconsumption of alcohol.
• Avoid all types of illegal drug use.
• If a patron to parties or night life establishments, remain vigilant of your surroundings and of those in close proximity to you.
• If you observe criminal activity, after leaving the area, call your local law enforcement and report what you have seen immediately. The sooner law enforcement agencies are contacted, the quicker an investigation can begin and evidence and witness statements gathered. Always remember, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.
• Trust your instincts and use common sense. If something does not feel right, it is time to remove yourself from the situation.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to convey a very important point and that is a victim of a crime is not at fault for that crime and the perpetrator is the one at fault,” says Captain Greg Reed of the Criminal Investigations Division. “In the case of sexual assault, for example, the victim goes through a lot of emotion and many cases go unreported or sometimes the victim declines cooperation. Law Enforcement is here to investigate all crimes reported to see if there is enough evidence to bring charges and to be an advocate for the victim.”

“We encourage victims to come forward and the sooner that can happen, the quicker we can begin the process of gathering evidence that is fresh and untainted and conduct interviews while recollections can be fresh in people’s minds,” continues Captain Reed. “No one has the right to force another individual to engage in any act or do anything against anyone in the commission of a crime, including engaging in a sexual act against one’s own free will.”