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Bill Number: 3175 Ratification Number: 762 Act Number 646 Introducing Body: House Subject: Qualifications of sheriffs
(A646, R762, H3175)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 11 OF TITLE 23, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SHERIFFS, BY ADDING SECTION 23-11-110 SO AS TO PROVIDE QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR SHERIFFS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Qualifications of sheriffs
SECTION 1. Chapter 11 of Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 23-11-110. (A) All sheriffs in this State must have the following qualifications:
(1) be a citizen of the United States;
(2) be a resident of the county in which he seeks the office of sheriff for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the election for sheriff;
(3) be a registered voter;
(4) have attained the age of at least twenty-one years prior to the date of his qualifying for election to the office;
(5) have obtained a high school diploma, its recognized equivalent in educational training as established by the State Department of Education, or have at least five years' experience in the criminal justice field;
(6) have not been convicted of or pled guilty to any violation of Section 56-1-460 or 56-5-2930, or both, within the past ten years or any felony.
(B) Each person offering his candidacy for the office of sheriff shall, within sixty days prior to or at the time he qualifies:
(1) file with the clerk of court a certified copy of his birth certificate, a certified copy of his high school diploma or certified proof of its recognized equivalent in educational training as established by the State Department of Education, or an affidavit that he has had at least five years' experience in the criminal justice field;
(2) swear or affirm before the clerk of court that he has met or will meet by the date of the election all of the qualifications required by this section.
(C) After December 31, 1988, every newly elected sheriff in his first term is required to complete a training session to be determined by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Training Council, to be conducted by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy or an academy certified by the South Carolina Training Council or as may be selected by the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association. This training must be completed during the first calendar year of the first term of the newly elected sheriff's term of office. Any newly elected sheriff who is unable to attend this training course when offered because of emergency or extenuating circumstances shall, within one year from the date the disability or cause terminates, complete the standard basic course of instruction required of newly elected sheriffs. Any newly elected sheriff who does not fulfill the obligations of this subsection is subject to suspension by the Governor until the sheriff completes the course of instruction.
(D) (1) After December 31, 1988, no person is eligible to hold the office of sheriff unless he attends a minimum of twenty hours' training annually as may be selected by the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association.
(2) The basis for the minimum annual requirement of in-service training is the calendar year. Sheriffs who satisfactorily complete the basic course of training in accordance with the provisions of this section after April first in any calendar year are excused from the minimum annual training requirement for the calendar year during which the basic course is completed.
(3) A waiver of the requirement of minimum annual in-service training may be granted by the board of directors of the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association, at its discretion, upon the presentation of evidence by a sheriff that he was unable to complete the training due to emergency or extenuating circumstances considered sufficient by the board.
(4) Any sheriff who fails to complete the minimum annual in-service training required under this section may be suspended from office, without pay, by the Governor for a period of ninety days. The Governor may continue to suspend a sheriff until he completes the annual minimum in-service training required in this section. The Governor shall appoint, at the time of the sheriff's suspension, a suitable person to perform as acting sheriff during the period of suspension.
(E) Any sheriff holding office on the effective date of this section is exempt from the provisions in this section except for the provisions of subsection (D) of this section."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect when the Constitution is amended to authorize the provisions of this act.