Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile has said repeatedly that drug dealers and violent criminals will be caught.
This week, Faile's peer sheriffs in South Carolina's 46 counties decided that for 2018, his commitment to public safety deserves a top state recognition.
Faile was selected this week as the 2018 sheriff of the year by the South Carolina Sheriff's Association. The association is comprised of sheriff's from the state's 46 counties.
Faile has been sheriff in Lancaster County since 2009. He has been a deputy in Lancaster County since 1989.
Sheriffs from Newberry and Horry counties, who nominated Faile, pointed out two important statistics in recommending him for the honor. Lancaster County saw a 12 percent increase in drug arrests in 2017 while at the same time violent crime from 2015 through 2017 dropped 18 percent, statistics show.
Faile's peers in Lancaster said his leadership and dedication to public safety makes him deserving of the honor.
Faile has made himself accessible to the public, and accepted the responsibilities of producing results, peer police in Lancaster said.
"I am not surprised that Sheriff Faile was recognized for his work, because he has demonstrated leadership and forward thinking to make this community safer," said Scott Grant, police chief of the Lancaster Police Department.
Grant, a former Lancaster County deputy, said that Faile's priorities to target violent crimes and drug dealing have improved public safety and the quality of life for Lancaster County's residents. The city and county officers work "hand in hand" to protect the public, Grant said.
In recent years, Faile's office has taken on long-term drug investigations that have netted arrests from kilograms of narcotics down to street-level investigations that netted dozens of arrests.
Faile told The Herald in late April that police, working with the community, can make streets safer, and that his office will respond to a public "fed up" with drugs and crime.
Drug agents in Lancaster County make "case after case and seizure after seizure, based on information they receive from citizens," Faile said after an April raid that resulted in the seizure narcotics, weapons and cash.
Faile is the third area sheriff to be selected as sheriff of the year in South Carolina.
Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood won the honor in 2015.
"To be honored by the other 45 sheriffs in South Carolina as a leader is a great honor," Underwood said. "We as sheriffs do this job to help people and protect them. I am very happy and proud for Sheriff Faile."
Former York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, now retired and a state legislator, won the award in 2008.
Faile will be presented the award in July.
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald