Richland County Sheriff’s Department


Innovation rears its head in Richland County, as Sheriff Leon Lott employs technology to prevent crime and capture criminals:

Crime, specifically theft, costs millions of dollars each year. Yet, prevention techniques and increased awareness are key to reducing these losses.   Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott continually searches for innovative ways to prevent crime and to capture those that violate the law.  Once such innovation that Sheriff Leon Lott has employed in Richland County is the ‘DataDots Identification System’. This Identification system is unprecedented in its use in our area and is currently being used by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to help you protect your assets and to aid in the recovery of stolen property.

DataDots are a high-tech identification technology about the size of a grain of sand developed in the 1940’s for espionage during WWII. They are made of a polyester material and laser etched with lines of text. This alphanumeric code is a unique personal identification number (PIN), which provides clear evidence of ownership and allows law enforcement to trace and return stolen assets.

Here’s how it works. When an item is stolen, thieves typically remove the serial number to make it more difficult to trace back to the rightful owner. With DataDots, this is not an issue because there will always be an identifier located on your asset. Another unique feature of the DataDots system is the online registration database. Once your PIN is registered with the Worldwide DataDot Database, your assets are linked under your personal contact information internationally. To protect your privacy, only authorized law enforcement and insurance investigators can gain access to this database. This results in an increased likelihood for recovery and has a greater ability to convict thieves.

Sheriff Leon Lott continues to work to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. As Sheriff Leon Lott continues to employ new technology and prevention techniques, we continue to need your help in improving the quality of life in our county and in telling the criminals that they are not welcome here. Please help by becoming involved in taking the opportunity away from the criminals. For more information on how you can help, please contact the Community Action Team of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Community Services Division at 576-3468.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department can only be successful when our citizen’s get involved.

For more information about DataDots technology or to purchase DataDots, visit

5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax

Copyright © 2006 Richland County Sheriff's Department