Contact Person: Nancy Wicker (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina – The United States Attorney’s Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee hosted the annual Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Luncheon today at the Fort Jackson Officers' Club, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The awards luncheon was attended by state, local and federal law enforcement officials from across the state.
The following South Carolina law enforcement officers received the 2016 awards:
Federal – Special Agent Jeffrey Long, Federal Bureau of Investigation
State – Assistant Chief Paul M. Grant, SLED
City – Chief William Wallace Oswald, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department
County – Sheriff A. Lane Cribb, Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office
The Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement were established by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers whose performances demonstrate the highest ideals of excellence in professional law enforcement. An annual award is given in each of four categories: (1) City Officer; (2) County Officer; (3) State Officer; and (4) Federal Officer. An awards committee composed of representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Strom Thurmond Foundation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, along with a police chief and sheriff who have received the award, selected the recipients from nominations received from across the state.
Acting United States Attorney Beth Drake stated, "It is an honor to recognize these four outstanding officers. Each of these officers exemplifies the best in law enforcement, serving their agencies, this state and our nation with distinction, integrity, and character. Their career path from officer on the street to executive, comes at great personal sacrifice for which we the people owe a debt of gratitude.”
Special Agent Jeffrey M. Long
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Special Agent Jeffrey M. Long graduated from Westfield State College in 1982, with a degree in Criminal Justice. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 1986, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. In 1987, Special Agent Long began his law enforcement career as a police officer with the Hudson Police Department in Hudson, New Hampshire. In 1989, he joined the New Hampshire State Police as a State Trooper where he worked for eight years. While serving as a State Trooper, he was a member of the New Hampshire State Police SWAT team and a Firearms Instructor.
In 1997, Special Agent Long joined the FBI. Upon graduating from the FBI Academy, he was assigned to the Columbia Field Office’s Myrtle Beach Residence Agency where he has spent the last 19 years as an FBI Special Agent. He has worked various crimes including bank robberies, violent gangs, criminal enterprise investigations, child pornography, armored car heists, and high profile kidnapping cases. Special Agent Long was the lead case agent on a horrific kidnapping and murder investigation which resulted in the first two federal death penalty sentences in South Carolina history. Special Agent Long has had an enormous impact in the Myrtle Beach community and the state of South Carolina during his FBI career. He has been a leader in Myrtle Beach through his liaison with outside agencies, his guidance and direction in complex and high profile investigations, and most importantly his servant based attitude of helping others. During his distinguished career, Special Agent Long has served on the FBI SWAT team, Evidence Response Team, and as a National Academy Class Counselor during 2005.
Assistant Chief Paul “Cricket” Grant
SC Law Enforcement Division
Assistant Chief Paul “Cricket” Grant began his career with SLED on August 6, 1976, as a Field Agent. He rose through the ranks at SLED, being named Assistant Chief on October 2, 2015. Prior to being named to his present position he was the Major of Investigative Services, where he provided direct oversight and leadership to the largest component of SLED and supervised all investigative matters handled by the agency. Prior to assuming that position, he served as Captain over the Midlands Investigative Region and as Lieutenant over the Midlands Investigative Region. Cricket is a veteran law enforcement officer having more than 40 years of dedicated service. His interest in law enforcement and public service began at an early age, as his father was a veteran law enforcement officer who retired after serving 16 years as the Sheriff of Aiken County. Assistant Chief Grant’s educational background includes an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina, a graduate of the only all SLED Agent class from the S. C. Criminal Justice Academy and a 2003 graduate of the FBI National Academy, 212th Session.
Assistant Chief Grant has mentored many law enforcement officers around the state, many of whom hold high level law enforcement administrative positions. Throughout his forty-year career, he has been involved in countless high-profile cases that, but for his investigative knowledge, an ability to forge long lasting partnerships with local law enforcement and his leadership abilities, may not have been solved.
Assistant Chief Grant is currently an active member of the South Carolina FBI National Associates, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers and the Aiken Sertoma Club. Assistant Chief Grant and his wife, Marilyn, are active members of Millbrook Baptist Church.
Chief William Wallace Oswald
Batesburg-Leesville Police Department
Chief William Wallace Oswald has served the Batesburg-Leesville community as a law enforcement officer for more than 40 years, beginning with the Batesburg Police Department in March 1976. In May 1979, he was promoted to the position of Chief of Police, where he has remained until this day. Having served as Chief of Police for more than 37 years, he is likely the longest serving chief in South Carolina history.
Over the years, Chief Oswald has instituted numerous programs and initiatives to improve services to the community and the safety of his officers, including the department’s first explosives response program and the department’s first Narcotics Interdiction Dog Program. Chief Oswald’s department was the first in the central midlands to have a body-worn camera program and many departments reached out to him for his policy and recommendations. With training at the heart of his leadership style, Chief Oswald has literally trained generations of local law enforcement officers in firearms proficiency and defensive tactics.
Chief Oswald is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 147th Session and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Limestone College in 2005. He served in the Army National Guard from 1988 to 2011, attaining the rank of Command Sergeant Major. His service to his country includes deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in an ordinance disposal unit. While on active duty, he was awarded two Bronze Stars.
Chief Oswald resides in Batesburg—Leesville with his wife and two children.
Sheriff A. Lane Cribb
Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Cribb began his career in law enforcement with the South Carolina Alcohol Beverage Commission as an Investigator in 1973. He then worked as a Criminal Investigator with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office until he returned home to work as an Investigator with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Cribb is currently serving his sixth term as Sheriff of Georgetown County.
Under Sheriff Cribb’s leadership, Georgetown County’s crime clearance rates far exceed national and state levels. He has established more than thirty Neighborhood Watch programs, the successful Georgetown County Sheriff’s Re-Entry program, the Georgetown Sheriff’s Family Justice Center, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Family Justice Center, and the G-MEN group which raises money and community awareness about domestic violence.
Sheriff Cribb attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Limestone College, and the University of Alabama. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is also a graduate of the Carolina Command College, National Center for Rural Law Enforcement, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Law Enforcement Executive Development School at the FBI Academy, and numerous other law enforcement training schools. Sheriff Cribb resides in Pawley’s Island of Georgetown County with his wife, Craig, and they have three children.