PCSO Explorers finish well at winter SCALE competition

PICKENS — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office sent two teams of Explorers to the winter South Carolina Association of Law Enforcement Explorers (SCALE) Conference, which was recently hosted by the North Myrtle Beach Police Department.

The three-day event was held Feb. 13-15 in Myrtle Beach and is the focal point of the organization’s winter conference, where Explorer Posts come together to test their skills and knowledge in hopes to one day fulfill their dreams of becoming law enforcement officers of the future.

Seven teams from five different agencies participated in the competition, which included scenario-based exercises in different areas of law enforcement to include criminal domestic violence, drug interdiction (felony traffic stops), crisis intervention and active shooter.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office enjoys a strong and dedicated group of Explorers who attend several meetings each month and vigorously train to become first responders in years to come. Ten of the 18 Explorers from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance at the event.

“I have never been more proud of such a great group of young men and women that are already experiencing the calling to serve others through public service right here in Pickens County,” sheriff Rick Clark said.

This past summer, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Explorers won first place in the highly sought-after award for being named the SCALE Post of the Year for 2014 — an award given to the group with outstanding community service and superior leadership.

In 2014, the first place overall award was also brought home by the Pickens County Explorers after achieving the highest average score accumulated from team events.

This year, Pickens County Sheriff’s Explorers team No. 1 brought home second place overall.

In the criminal domestic violence competition, Pickens County team No. 1 took second, while Pickens County team No. 2 finished third. Pickens County team No. 2 finished second in the crisis intervention competition as well.

In the active shooter competition, a two-agency combined team event, Pickens County team No. 1 combined with Summerville Police Department team No. 2 to take first place. Pickens County team No. 2 and Summerville team No. 1 earned a third-place finish.

The Explorer program is a nationally recognized program among law enforcement agencies, and candidates must meet certain criteria to become a member. Participants must be between the ages of 14-21, and anyone under the age of 18 must have the consent and approval from their parent or legal guardian. Candidates must maintain a “C” average in school and must have completed the 8th grade upon being selected for the program.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Explorers often give back to the community through volunteering at large public events, fundraisers and ridealongs with sheriff’s deputies.

Interested candidates should contact Pickens County Deputy 1st Class Elijah Chapman at (864) 898-5539 or by email at for more information.