Sergeant Art Taylor, a 27 year veteran of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, was selected and presented the 2019 Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement. The award was presented to Sergeant Taylor on November 6, 2109, during a ceremony at the Pickens County Courthouse.
The purpose of this award, aside from honoring those who exhibit excellence in the performance of their duties, is to perpetuate the vision of the Honorable Billy Wilkins, whom this award was named after. While serving in the role of Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor in the 1970’s, Judge Wilkins pioneered an innovative approach to policing; one where law enforcement and the solicitor’s office work hand-in-hand to ensure that criminal investigations are successfully prosecuted.
Throughout his investigative career, Sergeant Taylor has embraced this practice, routinely consulting, collaborating with, and seeking direction from the solicitor’s office long before the cases have been forwarded for prosecution. Sergeant Taylor’s application of Judge Wilkins’ vision has paved the way for successful prosecutions on some of the most heinous crimes this county has ever witnessed.
After having joined the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Taylor quickly proved his value to the agency while working in various units before pursuing his passion as a detective in 2009. Following his appointment as a detective, Sergeant Taylor took it upon himself to hone his investigative skillset by seeking out the most complicated and strenuous cases. This dedication led to Sergeant Taylor pursuing a position on the agency’s “homicide team”, a unit that is essentially on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no additional compensation to be a member of this team and the hours are unpredictable, but never once has Sergeant Taylor complained about his role within the unit. Instead, despite the lack of compensation and the additional workload, Sergeant Taylor views his integral role within the team as a source of professional pride.
Sergeant Taylor’s most important attribute is his reliability. Major crimes rarely occur during “business hours”. Instead, heinous and violent crimes tend to occur either late at night or during the early morning hours. Naturally, this occasionally leads to logistical issues with ensuring that the appropriate personnel are available. This has never been the case with Sergeant Taylor, who whenever summoned answers the call with a positive attitude and an eagerness to work. Sergeant Taylor’s consistent reliability has led to him being dubbed “Mr. Reliable” by Captain Chuck James.
Sheriff Clark stated…
“Art Taylor is an invaluable asset to the Sheriff’s Office and Pickens County is fortunate to have him not only at our agency but as a lifelong citizen of our community. His love for our county is seen every day in his commitment and dedication to improve the quality of life for our citizens. The manner in which Sergeant Taylor conducts his personal and professional life sets a standard by which we all can target as our personal goal for success”.