Tanner named Sheriff of Year by state association

Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner has been named Sheriff of the Year by the S.C. Sheriff’s Association, his office announced today in a news release.

Recipients are nominated by a fellow South Carolina sheriff, and the winner is selected by the Association. Tanner was nominated by long-time associate and fellow Sheriff Gregory Jenkins of Jasper County, according to the news release.

The nomination for Tanner, who took office in January 1999, cites the numerous programs and proactive initiatives he has undertaken to ensure the safety and enhance the quality of life in Beaufort County.

Under Tanner’s direction, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has continued on a track to excellence in service. With the establishment of a Regional Drug Analysis Lab, a backlog of pending drug cases was erased. He has developed a Homeland Security Level-One certified SWAT team; K-9 tracking team; search and rescue dive team; and the newly formed bomb squad.

The Sheriff’s creation of the SMART and Fresh Start programs have helped refocus numerous at-risk youths, and both programs have enjoyed growing success with both juveniles and parents alike, according to the office's news release. The Citizen’s Police Academy, started by the Sheriff in 2003, has attracted hundreds of county citizens, and graduates learn about the operations of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as ways they can participate in making the community a safer place.

Tanner has led to the incorporation of digital imaging into everything from crime scene photography to in-car patrol video. The camera systems used in the Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles are some of the most advanced in the nation, allowing for automatic download of data at various “hot-spots,” according to the news release.

Tanner also has served on the boards of the American Heart Association, the Boys & Girls Club of the Low Country and the Palmetto Price Enforcement Committee on Beautification and Litter.