Burgess wins Billy Wilkins Award

COUNTY — On Nov. 2, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rita Burgess was presented the Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.

Burgess was honored for her commitment and dedication to the investigation and prosecution of cases — specifically cases involving child abuse. Burgess has shown a commitment to taking a hands-on approach to the prosecution of her cases, officials said. She regularly meets with the solicitor’s office during each stage of the process. Her cases are fully investigated, and she is always prepared when testifying in court, according to a release announcing the honor. Due to the diligent and dedicated work that Burgess puts into cases, many of the most horrific crimes in Pickens County result in a conviction, officials said.


Pictured with Solicitor Walt Wilkins and William “Billy” Wilkins, former chief judge of the United States Courts of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rita Burgess was recently honored with the Billy Wilkins Award.

Burgess started as a dispatcher at the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office in January 1991. Over time, she has risen in the ranks and now supervises the sheriff’s office’s special victims unit.

Her commitment to the job and the people of Pickens County is apparent to her supervisors, colleagues and victims. She remains a steadfast advocate for those she serves, the release said.