Sheriff Leon Lott
Born in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1953,
Sheriff Leon Lott attended the University of South Carolina - Aiken,
earning an Associate Degree in Police Administration. He went on to attend
the University of South Carolina - Columbia, earning a Bachelor Degree in
Sociology and continued with graduate study for a Masters in Criminal
Justice. Later, Sheriff Lott graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBI
National Executive Institute, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School
of Government, and Furman University's SC Diversity Leadership Academy.
Sheriff Lott earned a Masters in Emergency Management from Lander
Sheriff Lott came to the Richland County Sheriff's Department in 1975 as a
patrol officer. He advanced thereafter to various positions, including
Criminal Investigator, Narcotics Agent, Lieutenant and Captain of
Narcotics Division, Administrative Captain, Uniform Patrol Captain, and
Watch Commander. In 1993, Sheriff Lott took the position of Chief of
Police of St. Matthews, SC.
In 1996, he made a successful run for Sheriff of Richland County. Upon
taking office, Sheriff Lott turned the direction of the Department to
Community Oriented Policing. The success that the Department has had in
the community since that time can be measured by the civic and community
oriented boards and committees that have asked for Sheriff Lott’s
participation, to wit:
- USO Advisory Council
- President - SC Law Enforcement Officers'
- SC Correctional Association - Board of
- D.A.R.E. America - Board of Directors
- Fight Crime- Invest in Kids - Advisory
Committee, Washington, DC
- Cooperative Ministry - Advisory Board
- Communities in Schools - Advisory Board
- Boy Scouts of America - Indian Waters
Council - Board of Directors
- SC Public Safety Coordinating Council -
- SC Police Corps - Advisory Council
- United Way - Local Government Division
- American Heart
Association - Industry Leader Division
- March of Dimes - Luxury Lockup -
- American Red Cross
- Division Chair
- SC Center for Family Policy - Board of
- SC Council for Conflict Resolution -
- Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
- Habitat for Humanity
- University of South Carolina Alumni
- University of South Carolina - Aiken
- Spring Valley Rotary Club
- Chapin Sertoma Club
- Special Olympics - Board of Directors
- National Safety Council
National Federation for the Blind
Greater Columbia Community Relations Council
- SC State Guard - Brigadier General -
Deputy Commander - Special Operations Command
- Honorary Green Beret
- Special Forces Assoc. (S.C. chapter)
- American Legion Post 6
- Commander - S.A.L.
- Retired Military Police Association
- Employee Support for Guard and Reserve -
Board of Directors
- Association of the United States Army -
Palmetto State Chapter
- SC Combat
- SEABEE Veterans of
- Adjutant General's Corps
Carolina Combat Veteran's Group
Special Forces Association
- Boyleston Masonic Lodge - AFM #123
- Columbia York Rite
- Columbia Scottish Rite
- National Sojourners - Ft. Jackson Post
- 2018 Public Servant of the Year -
Columbia Chamber of Commerce
- 2018 Fort Jackson Hall of Fame
- 2018 Chief LaMunyon Leadership Award -
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics South Carolina
- 2017 Outstanding Community Service Award
- Building Better Communities
Distinguished Citizen Award - Gamecock Battalion
- 2015 Colonel Ordie P. Taylor
Humanitarian of the Year Award - Community Relations Council Columbia
- 2015 First Responder of the Year -
Benedict College Athletic Department
- 2015 US Army War College National
- 2014 Honorary Defense Force Commander -
169th Security Forces Squadron
- 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer
Support Freedom Award - ESGR
- 2012 DEA / DARE America Law Enforcement
Executive of the Year
Human Rights Presidential Citation, SC NAACP
- 2011 Local Government Official of the Year, SC Recreation
and Parks Association
- 2011 Richard Allen Award, Allen
- 2010 Columbia Chamber of Commerce
Military Advocate Award
- 2010 New Ebenezer Baptist Church
Outstanding Public Service Award
- 2010 Horatio Gates Honorary Medal
- 2007 Order of the Palmetto
- 2006 Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce,
Community Service Award
- 2004 "SC Sheriff of the Year"
- 2004 "Strom Thurmond Award of
Excellence in Law Enforcement"
- 2004 SC Law Enforcement Officers'
Association - "Toughest Cop"
- 2004 SC Vocational Rehabilitation
Association - "Citation for Individual Contributions"
(accessibility rights for people with disabilities)
- 2002 Palmetto Pride (SC Governor's
Beautification and Litter Control Program) - "Outstanding
Leadership in Litter Enforcement"
- 2002 SC Victim Assistance Network -
"Silver Scales of Justice"
- 2001 Indian Waters Council - Boy Scouts
of America - "Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award"
- 2001 Martin Luther King, Jr. -
"Drum Major for Justice Award"
- 2000 Greater Columbia Chamber of
Commerce - "Athena Award"
- 2000 SC Association of School Resource
Officers - "President's Award"
- 2000 SC Association of Crime Prevention
Officers - "Administrator of the Year"
- 1999 "Carolina's Toughest Cop"
- 1989 SC Law Enforcement Officers'
Association - "Officer of the Year"
- 1986 Columbia Jaycees "Young
Officer of the Year"
Sheriff Lott, a member of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, is married
and has four daughters.