PCSO Explorers honored at statewide SCALE competition

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Explorers were very successful in the recent statewide SCALE competition. The PCSO Explorers are shown here with many of the awards they earned. Pictured are Advisor Master Deputy Elijah Chapman, Explorer Jesse Diaz, Associate Advisor Master Deputy Michael Torres, Explorer Justin Laws, Explorer Caleb Cassel, Associate Advisor Carmen Lehmann, Explorer Bennett Hendricks, Explorer Brandon Smith, Explorer Joseph Baldree, Explorer Logan Edgar, Explorer Sgt. Zach Blanton and Explorer Lindsay Parham.

web PCSO Scanned PatchSTATE — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is the current South Carolina title holder for being named the first in its class after attending the recent South Carolina Association of Law Enforcement Explorers (SCALE) Competition.

The annual event was held July 8-12 in Summerville and is the focal point of the Summer 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.

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 14 Explorers from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance at this year’s 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.

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

The local Explorers also brought home the first place overall award after achieving the highest average score accumulated from team events.

The Pickens County post received numerous awards, placing it in a position to be honored for several categories seldom won by a single agency within the same year:

2014 SCALE Competition Results: First Place Overall Team — Pickens County Sheriff’s Explorers; SCALE Post of the year 2014 — Pickens County Explorers; SCALE Advisor of the Year 2014 — Master Deputy Michael Torres; SCALE Explorer of the Year 2014 — Explorer Lt. Brandon Brewer.

First Place Team Finishes: Building Entry — Pickens County Explorers; Active Shooter — Pickens County Explorers.

Second Place Team Finishes: CDV Traffic Stop — Pickens County Explorers; Courtroom Testimony — Pickens County Explorers.

Third Place Team Finishes: Officer Down Rescue — Pickens County Explorers; High Risk Traffic Stop — Pickens County Explorers; Pistol Team — Pickens County Explorers.

First Place Individual Explorer Finishes: Individual Pistol — Explorer Justin Laws; Emergency Vehicle Operations — Explorer Lt. Brandon Brewer; Physical Agility (Male) — Explorer Lt. Brandon Brewer.

Second Place Individual Finishes: Emergency Vehicle Operations — Explorer Jesse Diaz; Legal Knowledge Test — Explorer Caleb Cassell; Incident Report Writing — Explorer Brandon Smith.

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 and 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 eighth 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 ride-a-longs with the sheriff’s deputies.

Interested candidates should contact Pickens County Master Deputy Elijah Chapman at (864) 898-5539 or by email at for additional information.