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TO CONGRATULATE AND HONOR CHESTER COUNTY SHERIFF ALEX UNDERWOOD FOR HIS MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO EXPRESS DEEP GRATITUDE FOR THAT SACRIFICIAL SERVICE.
Whereas, the South Carolina Senate is pleased to salute the exceptional service of Chester County's Sheriff Alex Underwood, who for many years consistently has proven to be a worthy role model to every law enforcement officer in this great State. This Chester County native, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, developed his expertise in law enforcement serving with various agencies throughout South Carolina over a thirty-plus-year period. He has become well known throughout this State and beyond as a top fugitive investigator; and
Whereas, he began his career in 1984 as a deputy sheriff with the Chester County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Underwood served as an officer with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and later as an agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). While at SLED, he served in many departments, including the Bloodhound Tracking Team, and became one of the most successful tracking agents to date. He served in the Alcohol Enforcement Unit and participated in numerous undercover operations designed to combat underage drinking, after-hour sales, gambling, and illegal manufacturing of alcohol. Alex Underwood also assisted with SLED's Narcotics Division, followed by an assignment with SLED's Criminal Investigative Division; and
Whereas, Sheriff Underwood later took on his most fulfilling assignment, serving with SLED's Fugitive Team. He was responsible for the capture and apprehension of all escaped state inmates and any fugitive entering this State, as well as for assisting local law enforcement agencies with the capture of wanted persons. While a member of the Fugitive Team, he was also a special deputized United States marshal, which allowed him to assist with the capture of some of the most violent and dangerous fugitives in the United States. As a result, he became one of the most well-known fugitive investigators in the State and one of the top ten in the nation. As an expert in his field, he has appeared on America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. In addition, throughout his career at SLED, Sheriff Underwood was a member of the agency's Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT); and
Whereas, in a history-making endeavor, Alex Underwood was elected sheriff of Chester County during the November 2012 general election, establishing him as the only candidate other than Strom Thurmond to win a major election as a petition candidate. He also made history as the first African American to be elected sheriff of Chester County. As sheriff, he has implemented more than ten community service programs and specialized units to prevent and tackle crime, and he has diversified the staff, increased officer training, and solved violent crimes at a rapid rate. Further national recognition has followed his efforts, including praise for the S.T.O.R.M. program, which has been featured on A&E's Beyond Scared Straight. Other honors include the State of South Carolina Sheriff of the Year award (2015) and Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer Award (2017). Sheriff Underwood also serves on various boards, such as the National Sheriffs' Association and ECHO DUI Task Force (chair); and
Whereas, grateful for his impressive work on behalf of the citizens of the Palmetto State, the Senate takes great pleasure in applauding Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood and in wishing him much continued success in the years to come. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate:
That the members of the South Carolina Senate, by this resolution, congratulate and honor Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood for his more than thirty years of distinguished service in law enforcement to the people of South Carolina and express deep gratitude for that sacrificial service.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Sheriff Alex Underwood.
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