Kershaw's Matthews selected 2014 `Sheriff of the Year`

Published: May. 8, 2014 at 2:45 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM EDT
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Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews (Source: KCSO)
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews (Source: KCSO)

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews has been selected as the South Carolina Sheriff's Association's 2014 Sheriff of the Year.

Matthews was nominated by neighboring Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. The two have worked together for more than 30 years.

"Sheriff Matthews has restructured the agency to place more emphasis on improving response time and greater accessibility of deputies to the citizens he is sworn to serve," said Lott.

Matthews and the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office were also praised for increasing their DUI enforcement, which lead to the department being named the top agency for DUI enforcement in the state for three years in a row.

Sheriff Matthews also received endorsements for the award from leaders within Kershaw County. Individuals in the community praised Matthews' innovative ideas and willingness to reach out to everyone in the county regardless of race.

One supporter even admitted to campaigning against Matthews in the previous election. "Matthews quickly won me over after he took office," said Paul Napper, Executive Director of the Alpha Center. "Sheriff Matthews' ability to maintain relationships with people who disagree with him formed the basis for our friendship and has helped him succeed in many ways in Kershaw County."

Matthews was elected in 2010 and took office in 2011.

He announced in March he would to seek another term.

Prior to his service as sheriff, Matthews retired from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

This will be presented to Matthews at the Association's annual conference in Myrtle Beach in July.

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