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FAQ

The following pages were created so you can have answers to some frequently asked questions about the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. Click on the question below and it will expand with answers to the question. If this does not answer your question you can also call the respective divisions for further information by looking the number up in our phone directory.

What to do during a traffic stop.

When a Deputy Sheriff signals for you to pull over:

  • Pull over as far to the right as safely possible. This allows the officer to walk safely to your car.
  • Turn off the ignition.
  • If the traffic stop occurs at night, turn on the interior lights of your car so the officer can see.
  • Place your hands on the steering wheel until the officer can make a safety evaluation as he/she approaches your car.
  • Avoid making any sudden or reaching movements.
  • Always follow the officer's instructions.
  • Please stay in your vehicle unless directed by the officer to get out of your car.
  • Do not assume that the officer knows that you are the perfect, law-abiding citizen. Law Enforcement can be dangerous work. Officers must be cautious at all times.
  • If you are carrying a weapon advise the officer of the weapon and its location. Do Not attempt to retrieve the weapon for the officer.
  • Being stopped at night, particularly along a dark stretch of road, can heighten the tension for a motorist and an officer. Officers do not object to drivers proceeding to the nearest well lit area. Simply acknowledge the officer by turning on your flashers and drive at a reduced speed.
  • If asked to step out of the car, walk to the rear of your vehicle to the side away from the traffic, or as directed by the officer, using the car as a barrier between you and on-coming cars.
  • The officer will ask you for three important pieces of information, your drivers license, automobile registration, and proof of insurance. The officer will explain the reason for the traffic stop.
  • Please do not attempt to argue with the officer. This may only increase the tension in an already stressful situation.
  • Depending upon why the officer felt it was necessary to initiate a traffic stop you may, or may not, be given a citation, warning ticket, or verbal warning. If you receive a citation you will be advised of a court date, which allows you the opportunity to take your case before a judge. Certain traffic violations require that if charged you are taken into custody and must appear before a magistrate.
  • Once business with the officer is finished, you should merge, with caution, back into the flow of traffic.

Employment Questions and Answers

How much does it cost to go to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy?
Nothing! There is no cost to personnel attending the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Personnel must be employed full time by a law enforcement agency and have satisfied a background investigation.

I am a certified officer from another state. Will South Carolina recognize my certification or will I have to go back through the full academy?
The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy does recognize law enforcement certifications from out of state, as well as military law enforcement certifications. However, the academy must do a training review from your academies training curriculum. Once it is approved, personnel must enter into a special six-week academy to cover South Carolina State Law in order to receive a South Carolina certification.

What does your background investigation consist of?
The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and the Greenville County Sheriff's Office require a rigorous background investigation. We check for credit history, driving history, criminal history and conduct civil checks for every county you have previously lived in. We also contact personal references and check with previous employers with regards to your work history. After a satisfactory background and polygraph examination is conducted, a conditional offer of employment is given. From this point candidates are submitted to medical, physical fitness and drug screening, as well as, a psychological test.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and three years of experience as a certified law enforcement officer. What would my starting pay be?

Education

 

10.00%

Experience

3 X 1.25=

3.75%

Total % over base

 

13.75%

Salary over base

$30,485.39 X 13.75=

$34,677.13

Greenville County provides salary incentives for certified law enforcement experience, education and other critical skills related to law enforcement to a maximum of 15% over the base salary of $30,485. An Associates degree earns (related to law enforcement) 5%, Bachelor's degree (related to law enforcement) 10%, Critical Skills (Spanish translation) 5%. Experience is valued at 1.25% per year experience. Personnel, who are hired without a certification, or less than one year of experience, are hired at 4% below the base but receive educational and critical skill pay incentives.

Why is there a difference in pay for Deputies assigned to uniform patrol and other Deputies?
The base salary is calculated on a 40-hour workweek, or 2080 hours worked in a year. All newly hired Deputies are assigned to Uniform Patrol on a 12-hour rotating schedule. These deputies work 84 hours in a two-week pay period, 4-hours of which is paid at a rate of time and a half. Deputies on this schedule earn 104 hours of overtime each year, which significantly adds to their pay.

In addition to this, Deputies working during paid holidays are compensated at a rate of double-time and a half. If a Deputy's scheduled day off falls on a holiday, he is compensated for 8-hours of straight time in addition to his normal pay. Greenville County currently provides a total of 10 paid county holidays.

What kinds of training will I Receive?
After 12 weeks at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Deputy Trainees enter into a 12-week field-training program with a Master Deputy Instructor. The field training program consist of a 4-week demonstration of the position, then a 2-week transfer to Burglary, Narcotics, Traffic, Communications, Judicial Services and Forensics. Trainees return to Uniform Patrol for 4 additional weeks and finish with a 2-week observation period. During the 2-week observation period Deputy Trainees must satisfactorily demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the job.

What is the difference between Deputy I and Deputy II?
Deputy I is either certified or non-certified with less than 1-year experience in Uniform Patrol. After successful completion of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and 1 year of service, Deputies are automatically promoted to the rank of Deputy II and receive a 4% increase in pay.

What is the difference between a City Police Officer and a Deputy Sheriff?
A City Police Officer enforces the law within the city limits of a given town. A Sheriff’s Deputy enforces the law within the county limits, to include all city jurisdictions within that county. Currently there are 6 municipalities within Greenville County. Greenville County Sheriff’s Office enforces the law within the 747 square miles of Greenville County.

Will I have to start work in the county jail?
No. The Greenville County Department of Community Services is a separate county agency and is responsible for the Detention Center, Forensics, EMS and the Records Division. Greenville County Deputies begin their career in Uniform Patrol and after two years of experience are eligible for transfer to other divisions and special units. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has a wide variety of career paths to choose from, however, a career in Detention is not one of them.

I’m interested in becoming a homicide Investigator. Do you have any openings for these positions?
Everyone hired with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office begins his or her career in Uniform Patrol. Deputies must have 2 years experience before they can be considered for transfer. Once they are eligible, Deputies may pursue careers, to include: Homicide, Arson, Armed Robbery, Auto Theft, Directed Patrol, Fugitive Squad, Juvenile, Property Crimes, Narcotics, Sex Crimes, School Resource, White Collar Crimes and several other specialty fields.

Does the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office provide take home cars?
Yes. After Deputies have completed their 12 weeks of field training, they are assigned as a solo unit in one of 11 beat areas. Deputies are provided with a vehicle to take home for business purposes only and are responsible for keeping up with the service of the car. The County of Greenville pays for all vehicle expenses.

If I were to be hired, what equipment would I have to purchase or have?
All equipment, including uniforms, firearms, vehicles and training are provided to employees free of cost. The only thing needed is you.

For more information, contact:
LT. David Williams, Personnel/Recruitment Director
Administrative Services Division, Greenville County Sheriff's Office
4 McGee Street, Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 467-5307
Email: gcsorecruiting@greenvillecounty.org

An Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Click here for additional Employment Information 

Greenville County Sheriff's Office areas of responsibility

View the Greenville County Sheriff's Office Beat Areas.

Family Court Questions

The Family Court is part of a unified statewide court system. Learn more about The Family Court.

Greenville County Alarm System Permit Application

Download a copy of the Alarm Permit Application (.pdf).

How do I find out if someone is incarcerated in The Greenville County Detention Center?

To see if someone is currently housed in The Detention Center you just need to go to the Greenville County website.

How Do I Report a Crime Over the Phone

Telephone Reporting Unit (Front Desk)

Only certain crimes may be reported over the telephone. Below is a list of some of those crimes.

  • Auto Theft        
  • Auto Breaking    
  • Malicious Damage        
  • Stolen License Plate    

Auto Theft

Please have all information at hand when calling to report your vehicle stolen. We need Color, Year, Make, Model, License, VIN, Insurance Policy Number and agency, Were the keys left in the vehicle, was it unlocked?, how much gas was in the car at the time of the theft, what items were left in the car, any suspects in the theft etc...

Auto Breaking

If someone has broken into your vehicle, please do not touch the car, we may be able to obtain some latent fingerprints from the vehicle and better equip us to make the charges stick when we catch the suspect. Please have all vehicle information at hand when you speak with the Front Desk Officer.

Malicious Damage

If you have damage to your property, you may be able to report it over the phone.  However, if the damage is extensive and/or you know who the perpetrator is a deputy may have to respond.

Stolen License Plate

If someone steals your license plate please have all the information on the tag number and vehicle it was taken from when you call.