“Discussions of New or Revised Animal Ordinances”

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This week, the Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from citizens throughout the county with questions, concerns and/or advice regarding the intent of the Sheriff’s Office to propose or endorse a “new” animal ordinance to be voted on by County Council.

Several citizens are under the assumption that this vote is scheduled to take place during the regularly, scheduled Council meeting in February. If you have been told or heard this information please beware that those rumors are false.

A vast amount of misinformation that has been disseminated in circles throughout our communities compels us to address these rumors so that we can perhaps ease any concerns that you may have.

The Sheriff’s Office has not drafted nor do we intend to endorse a “new” ordinance pertaining to animals at the next Council Meeting. Why?  Because no such “new” ordinance exists that we are aware of.

As most people know by now, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of state statutes and county ordinances that specifically govern the treatment and care of animals.

Sheriff Clark’s “Animal Enforcement Unit” was created in 2017 pursuant to an agreement between the Sheriff and Pickens County Council.

The transition of the enforcement component from the county’s previously known “Animal Control Unit” has been extremely successful due to the partnership between our elected Council, the county Administration and the Sheriff’s Office.

As stakeholders in the mission to ensure that our animal population is not neglected or abused, the Sheriff’s Office has been asked to engage in future discussions about any need to revisit existing ordinances that are relevant to our animal population.

Item 10 listed on the Council’s agenda for their February meeting is not a vote on a specific ordinance nor is it a public forum to address any item in a proposed ordinance because there has not been any new language created or submitted that we are aware of.

The agenda item is simply the recognized process to trigger the discussions before the appropriate committees so that Council can have visibility of an identified need, if any, that would require an update or revision to the existing ordinances.

The physical tethering of animals has been the topic of interest for local media outlets. This stems from actions and discussions in other municipalities and adjacent counties that have determined their need for such a provision; therefore, it is being assumed that Pickens County is staged to follow in those footsteps.

The Sheriff’s Office is very comfortable in saying to you that our conversations with our county Administration and members of Council reassures us that any change, revision or new ordinance regarding our animal population would only occur after this Council is confident that they have input from several stakeholders to include our citizens, our animal rights activists and law enforcement.

The Sheriff’s Office has no reason to believe that any decision made by Council regarding our animal population would ever be the result of a knee jerk reaction based on the trends of others.

Our limited conversations with Council thus far about our animals leads us to believe that any change in existing regulations would only be made after careful consideration based on the legitimate needs or desires that are unique to Pickens County.

Lastly, the Sheriff’s Office wants you to know that we share in your vision to ensure that our animal population is treated in a humane fashion void of abuse and neglect without the unnecessary infringement on individual rights.

 

Creed W. Hashe, Chief Deputy

 

“Fire at Pickens County Detention Center Contained with No Threat to Inmate Population “

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01-30-18 

This morning, at approximately 8:55am, on-site personnel observed smoke near a room designated for laundry services located at the rear of the facility.

The Pickens City Fire Department was requested and responded with numerous other county responders at which time the fire was extinguished. The fire was contained to the laundry service area and never posed a threat to the inmate population.

No injuries were sustained during the brief incident. Reports of inmate evacuation are unfounded and at no time were any inmates removed from the facility.

Preliminary investigation by the fire service indicates that the fire was mechanical in nature and is believed to have started inside the drum of a dryer.

Estimated damages are unknown at this time but the utility machines used for washing and drying are expected to be replaced.

Routine damages to the area that are commonly seen in the course of fire suppression will also require further inspection and repair.

No further information is available at this time.

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“Sheriff Rick Clark Holds News Conference”

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Sheriff Rick Clark hosted a news conference this morning for all media outlets regarding the culmination of an 8 ½ month, undercover drug operation from May of 2017 to this month.  A total of 37 charges are being brought against 13 individuals targeted as mid to upper level methamphetamine distributors. 

Sheriff Clark stated … 

“It is very important to emphasize to our communities that these subjects are not just “users” of illicit drugs but that they have been identified as being involved at a higher level in the structure that feeds the meth epidemic that unfortunately over time has taken a foothold in Pickens County.  These individuals are believed to be some of the primary providers of methamphetamine to our citizens that have been absorbed into a life of drugs”.

Media Release 1-19-2018 (Charges)

Brandi Nicole O'BryantBrandi Nicole O’Bryant

Jeremy Lee Farmer - ACSOJeremy-Lee-Farmer

Jonathan Michael PalmJonathan-Michael-Palm

Kenneth Clayton WaldropKenneth-Clayton-Waldrop

Kurtis Russell BurnsKurtis-Russell-Burns

Scott Allen DurhamScott-Allen-Durham

Sheila Elaine DurhamSheila-Elaine-Durham

Steven Kevin BrueningSteven-Kevin-Bruening

Tracy Renee ScivedgeTracy-Renee-Scivedge

Darrin Fitzgerald Rice – SCDC

Joshua Dalton Kelly – SCDC

William Lee Pressley – SCDC

 

 

“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Requests Public’s Help in the Case of a Stolen Truck from Six Mile”

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Person of InterestPerson of Interest

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the theft of a 1997 Chevrolet 1500 truck (gold in color) from Durham’s Service Station located on South Main St in Six Mile. The vehicle displayed a South Carolina license tag of FRG324 at the time of the theft.

The incident occurred on Thursday, January 11th, at approximately 7:15am when the owner of the stolen truck went inside the store leaving the vehicle unsecured with the engine running.

An adult w/m entered the victim’s vehicle before the owner exited the store and drove away in the truck. Surveillance cameras captured an image of a second unknown male seen in the attached photo that was driving a second vehicle occupied by the thief moments before he stole the victim’s truck.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office are requesting the public’s help in identifying the “person of interest” in the attached image.

Anyone with information as to the identity of the man seen in the photo or the whereabouts of the stolen vehicle is asked to please contact the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.

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“Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark Requests SLED Assistance in Investigation Involving Mile Creek Park”

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12-13-17 

On December 11, 2017, Sheriff Rick Clark submitted a request to the SC Law Enforcement Division for their assistance in the investigation of criminal allegations involving a former inmate trustee assigned to a work detail at Mile Creek Park.

Sheriff Clark was approached by the parents of a sixteen year old son in September of this year at which time the Sheriff’s Office first learned of allegations that their son had been sexually assaulted while working part-time during the summer months at Mile Creek Park.

Preliminary information given to the Sheriff at that time indicated that the activity occurred at the park while the alleged victim was assigned to a work detail alongside an inmate from the Pickens County Prison.

Just days following the initial complaint by the parents, the Sheriff’s Office was requested by the family’s attorney to temporarily suspend the criminal investigation for personal reasons.

In late November, the Sheriff’s Office was informed that the family of the victim wished to proceed with the investigation and on December 4, 2017, detectives with the Sheriff’s Office were able to interview the alleged victim for the first time.

Since that interview, the Sheriff’s Office has continued to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations and have determined that the case does contain basic information that would merit an in-depth investigation to determine what, if any, criminal violations may have occurred.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office received confirmation from the SC Law Enforcement Division that they had accepted the investigation and Sheriff’s detectives have already started to engage in conversations with SLED agents to facilitate the transfer of all information to SLED.

Sheriff Clark stated…

“This case contains allegations involving a juvenile that was working at a county facility in the presence of other county employees from departments within Pickens County Government.  

A former inmate from the Pickens County Prison/Stockade is being accused of physically assaulting the sixteen year old while both were assigned to a work detail.  

Though, I do not manage, supervise or have any authority over any of the potential witnesses or the former inmate that has been identified by the alleged victim, I feel that it would be improper for the Sheriff’s Office to proceed any further with this investigation due to our relationship with those departments and any of their employees. 

As with any allegation of criminal conduct, our first obligation is to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair and impartial manner. 

It is for this reason that I feel compelled to ask for outside assistance from a neutral and detached agency to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

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“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to be Dropped from Lawsuit”

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Recently, various networks including local newspapers have reported on a lawsuit filed in the 13th Judicial Court of Common Pleas against Pickens County that alleges improper supervision and conduct of inmate trustees at Mile Creek Park in Six Mile.

Details from those news stories also indicated that the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was being named in the litigation for various reasons due to the inmates were from the Pickens County Detention Center which is under the supervision and control of the Pickens County Sheriff.

Upon learning of these allegations, the Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted the law firm representing the Plaintiff in this case and informed them that at no time were any inmate trustees from the Pickens County Detention Center ever assigned to perform any duties at Mile Creek Park.

Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office never entered into any such agreement as alleged with any other county department as stated in the lawsuit. Inmates assigned to the detention center do not perform any work assignments offsite from the Law Enforcement Center.

After consulting with the attorney for the Plaintiff, it has been determined that the allegation is directed towards the Pickens County Prison commonly referred to as the Stockade and not the Pickens County Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office does not manage any of the operations, the staff or the inmate population at the Pickens County Prison and the county employees assigned to that facility are not employees of the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office has been informed by White, Davis and White Law Firm in Anderson that the pending lawsuit will be amended and all allegations against the Sheriff’s Office will be removed.

Creed W. Hashe, Chief Deputy