It’s been a challenging two weeks for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) in South Carolina. First was the successful RCSD-led sting operation, spanning August 5-10, targeting online sexual predators —“monsters,” as Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott refers to them— and those soliciting prostitution. This operation preceded an August 15th bank robbery in which suspects […]
Archivo de W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Acerca de W. Thomas Smith Jr.
W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a formerly deployed U.S. Marine rifle squad (infantry) leader, a shipboard counterterrorism instructor, and a SWAT team officer in the nuclear industry. A retired Col. (O-6) in the S.C. Military Dept., Smith founded the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team, and he is a technical consultant for films which have aired on The Military Channel. A New York Times bestselling editor; Smith’s travels have taken him across the globe. His work has appeared in The New York Post, U.S. News & World Report, Human Events, BusinessWeek, POLICEONE, Marine Corps Times, S.W.A.T. magazine, BLACK BELT, and many others. He is a former advisor to the S.C. Governor’s Military Base Task Force, and a special deputy with the Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff's Dept.
In Columbia, South Carolina, candidates for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Response Team (RCSD-SRT) are being put through the paces this week as they master the finer points of close-quarters-battle (CQB) techniques and other special tactics at both the Columbia Fire Academy and RCSD’s weapons range. The weeklong SRT training will certify the participating […]
Major General Tom Mullikin will retire from command of the South Carolina State Guard (SCSG) during a formal change-of-command ceremony on Saturday, December 1, at the S.C. State House in Columbia. Mullikin will relinquish command to Brig. General Leon Lott, sheriff of Richland County, who previously held the post of deputy commander of the SCSG. […]
Countless law enforcement agencies have achieved fame and notoriety over the previous 100 years. High-profile criminal cases have led to the renown of many, as have the sheer number of police departments, sheriff’s offices and other law enforcement agencies at every level—locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Among some of the best-known are NYPD, LAPD, FBI, […]
In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting of seven law enforcement officers (including four police officers and three deputy sheriffs) – one dead and one still critically wounded – in Florence, South Carolina, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) was called to investigate. Why was RCSD requested when that agency’s central-S.C. headquarters and jurisdiction is […]
A major four-day sting operation led by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) and involving multiple local, state, and federal agencies, led to the arrest of 18 persons suspected of being child predators and another 20 for prostitution in Richland County, South Carolina during July 10-13. Dubbed Operation Full Armor, the effort was “very successful,” […]
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A report of an “active shooter” at a local elementary school kicked off a major active-shooter response exercise for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) earlier today, with scores of RCSD deputies and other law enforcement officers (LEOs) converging on Jackson Creek Elementary School in northeast Columbia, S.C. Aware that there would […]
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) Deputy and S.C. Army National Guard (SCARNG) officer Ryan Rawl will “never be forgotten,” says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. It’s a pledge that has been realized publicly every year since Ryan’s death in Afghanistan in 2012 through the Ryan Rawl Memorial Event, this year a station-to-station […]
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff Leon Lott was the featured guest of EXPERIENCE MATTERS, a new CRTV television program hosted by Drew Berquist of the OpsLens Media Group, this week. In a pre-recorded interview segment, Thurs., May 31, Lott discussed the recent spate of school shootings, school safety, the criticality of an effective school resource officer program, and why the idea of arming teachers is “not the right approach.”
Lott will provide expert commentary for EXPERIENCE MATTERS, every other week (dates to be determined), as will other senior officers commanding various elements within the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. going forward. A new television venture of the St. Augustine, Florida-based OpsLens Media Group where Lott has been published and Berquist serves as editor-in-chief, EXPERIENCE MATTERS will air weeknights at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on subscriber-based CRTV Television.
FORT JACKSON, S.C. – This week, 117 SWAT-trained law enforcement officers from 21 separate police departments and sheriff’s offices across S.C. are participating in the third annual S.C. SWAT Summit, a joint training effort facilitated by the FBI and the Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD).
Conducted on several ranges over four days at Fort Jackson – the largest U.S. Army basic training facility in the nation – participants are fine-tuning skills in hostage rescue, emergency medical care, direct action, and close-quarters battle techniques (inside and outside of buildings).
As we near the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood, June 1-26, 1918 – one of the great defining actions of the U.S. Marine Corps and the battle which earned for Marines the now-famous nom de guerre, “teufelhunden,” or “devil dog” – I’m reminded not only of the rich history and traditions of the Corps, but my own personal memories from my years as a Marine rifleman.
Not to sound mawkishly sentimental, but I was blessed to have served, years ago, as a rifle squad leader in the Corps’ most-decorated regiment, 5th Marines (which, by the way, cut its teeth at Belleau Wood). That’s not to suggest all of my memories of the Corps are grand and glorious, or even pleasant. They aren’t. I clearly remember the bad times. But I have far more fond memories of the good. And the following hyper-brief recollections were, are, and will always be some of the best for me personally.