Skip to main content
Press Release

2018 Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Announced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Awards ceremony held today at Fort Jackson

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA –The United States Attorney’s Office’s Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, along with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association (SCLEOA) and the Strom Thurmond Foundation, hosted the annual Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Luncheon today at the Fort Jackson Officers' Club, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Approximately 150 state, local, and federal law enforcement officials from across the state attended the awards luncheon.


The following South Carolina law enforcement officers received the 2018 awards:


City – Chief William H. “Skip” Holbrook, City of Columbia Police Department


County – Sheriff Barry S. Faile, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office


Federal – Special Agent Jacquelyn K. Hamelryck, Federal Bureau of Investigation


State – Lieutenant Sigrid C. Phinney, SLED



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.


United States Attorney Sherri Lydon stated, "We are proud to recognize these officers to exemplify the best in law enforcement and endeavor every day to secure communities across South Carolina.”


City Recipient


William H. “Skip” Holbrook


City of Columbia Police Department

Chief William H. “Skip” Holbrook has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, the last 12 of which have been in executive and command positions.  He was appointed Chief of the Columbia Police Department on April 14, 2014.  Under his leadership, the Columbia Police Department has implemented many organizational and operational reforms which have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice for 21st century policing efforts.  In addition, the department has received the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers’ Association (SCLEOA) SCANA Award of Excellence and has been awarded national accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). 


Chief Holbrook began his law enforcement career in 1987 with Charlotte Police Department in N.C.  He went on to have a distinguished career with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation where he achieved the rank of Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Southern Piedmont District, Charlotte office.  Prior to coming to the Columbia Police Department in 2014, Chief Holbrook who is a native of Huntington, W. VA, served as their Police Chief for seven years.


Chief Holbrook earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Marshall University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Pheiffer University.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police, the FBI’s National Executive Institute, and the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Senior Executive Institute.  Chief Holbrook is also a Furman University Riley Institute Diversity Fellow. 


Chief Holbrook is an active member of the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers’ Association, S.C. Police Chiefs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI National Academy Associates National Executive Institute Association.  He serves as a member of the S.C. Governor’s Opioid Emergency Response Team.   Chief Holbrook is married and has three children. 



County Recipient


Barry S. Faile


Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Barry Faile began his law enforcement career at the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office in 1989 as a patrol deputy and worked his way through the ranks as a Patrol Deputy, Criminal Investigator, Narcotics Investigator, Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force Commander, Patrol Captain, and Chief Deputy.  He was elected Sheriff in 2009 and under his leadership and guidance, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office achieved accreditation through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Coalition in 2011.  In 2013, the Sheriff’s Office received national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). 


Additionally, Sheriff Faile has obtained more than $5 million in grant money to improve and modernize the Sheriff’s Office to better serve citizens of Lancaster County.  In 2017, his agency completed their implementation of a body worn camera program that greatly increased accountability, criminal prosecution, and officer safety.  Grant funding made it possible to implement video conference bond hearings in the detention center and a countywide 800 mhz radio system.  Again, utilizing grant funds for their “CrimeTRAC” program, Lancaster County has seen a significant decrease in crime since its implementation in 2013.


A life-long resident of Lancaster County, Sheriff Faile is committed to the quality of life for its citizens.  For example, the Crime Watch program grew from 12 neighborhoods to 37 in just two years.  He and his officers are integral parts of the Lancaster County Coalition for Healthy Youth and the Lancaster Promise Neighborhood, aimed at revitalizing high-crime areas and mentoring high-risk youth.  In 2018, Sheriff Faile started a Senior Services Unit which focuses on increasing safety and improving the quality of life for senior citizens. Included among firsts for the Sheriff’s Office under his leadership are a Career Ladder designed to recruit and retain experienced and educated officers, the first Professional Standards Unit,  the first Crowd Control Unit,


Sheriff Faile was awarded the 2018 Sheriff’s Association Sheriff of the Year.  He currently serves as the SCLEOA 1st Vice President and is the Past President of South Carolina Sheriff’s Association.  Sheriff Faile and his wife and their three children reside in Lancaster where he is an active member of the community and church.  He is a regular volunteer at local high school sporting events where he can be found in the concession stand working for the booster club.     



Federal Recipient


Jacquelyn K. Hamelryck

Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation


FBI Special Agent Jacquelyn “Jackie” Hamelryck began her career 25 years ago at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. In 1998, she joined the FBI and was initially assigned to the Miami Office Gang Squad working Haitian violent crime. She later supervised the South Carolina Joint Terrorism Task Force through 2016. She was responsible for managing the 24/7 surveillance of an international terrorism subject for over three months and involved over 50 surveillance teams that contributed to his conviction for the material support of terrorism. During this same time, SA Hamelryck stood-up and managed a second FBI command post to support potential domestic terrorism threats emanating from the Mother Emmanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston. She was also responsible for initiating and incorporating terrorism training to all new state and local law enforcement officers at the SC Criminal Justice Academy.


More recently, SA Hamelryck has served as the Violent Crimes Against Children Coordinator and was responsible for the safe recovery of 10 child sex trafficking victims and arrest of their pimps. She was instrumental in the murder investigation of a mother and the 10-day search for her kidnapped and murdered eight-year-old daughter in Bennettsville. She apprehended a predator who used the identities of college athletic coaches to gain access and sexually exploit young female athletes across the country.


As FBI Columbia’s Crisis Negotiation Coordinator, she is responsible for teaching negotiator classes to hundreds of first responders statewide. She has also provided instruction to over 1000 federal, state, and local negotiators nationwide. SA Hamelryck was responsible for managing the communications in multiple drug-related kidnappings and obtained proof-of-life evidence that contributed to the safe recovery of the victims. During the Still kidnapping in Calhoun County, SA Hamelryck spent five days at the Sheriff’s Department with the victim’s father receiving calls from the kidnappers associated with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico. SA Hamelryck was a key witness in the two trials and introduced critical evidence from the ransom negotiations against the three kidnappers who received 30 years to life in federal prison. SA Hamelryck’s team successfully negotiated the last four occupiers on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon to end the 41-day armed standoff.


SA Hamelryck has received numerous internal FBI awards in recognition for her role in high-profile national security and criminal investigations. She was named Rookie of the Year in 1994 by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. She was recognized by the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida, as Agent of the Year in 2000 for the successful prosecution of violent Haitian home invaders. In 2015, she was nominated for the United States Attorney General Award.


SA Hamelryck earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina and will graduate with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Behavior from Tiffin University in December 2018. She is married and has two children.




State Recipient


Sigrid C. Phinney


SC Law Enforcement Division


Lieutenant Sigrid C. Phinney began her law enforcement career in 1998 with the Summerville Police Department where she served as a patrol officer, bicycle officer and School Resource Officer. In 2005, she accepted a position with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and is currently assigned to the SeaHawk Charleston Interagency Operations Center (IOC) as the State IOC Coordinator and Automatic License Plate Recognition program leader.


As State IOC Coordinator, Lieutenant Phinney assists in coordinating with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to support criminal investigations and homeland security needs, such as Cooper River Bridge Runs, multi-agency strike force operations, VIP visits to the Charleston area, the USS Ralph Johnson Ship Commissioning, and the creation of the IBIS/NIBIN database in Alastar. As a result of her coordination efforts, including “Operation SHRIMP and GRITS,” the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston was awarded the Area Maritime Security Committee in 2017. "Operation SHRIMP and Grits," a five- hour operation included SC, GA, and FL, encouraged boating safety and maritime security, and incorporated 89 agencies and 409 personnel, while covering 430 miles of coastline. In 2018, Lieutenant Phinney was awarded a SLED Certificate of Merit for assisting Charleston Police Department and FBI in a kidnapping case involving a four-year old. Her assistance included creating a timeline of the suspect’s movements before, up to, and after the attack on the family.


Lieutenant Phinney received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Charleston Southern University in 2004 and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Anderson University Command College in Anderson, SC. Lt Phinney is married and has one child. While working full time and attending school, she continues to assist with Special Olympics events along with assisting her child in 4-H community projects, including Operation Shoebox. Lt. Phinney also volunteers at her child’s school when needed for drama club performances, tennis matches, and piano recitals.




Pictured from left to right: Solicitor Strom Thurmond, Jr., US Attorney Sherri A. Lydon, County Award Winner Sheriff Barry S. Faile, Federal Award Winner Special Agent Jacqueline Hamelryck, State Award Winner Lieutenant Sig Phinney and City Award Winner Chief William "Skip" Holbrook




Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated October 26, 2018

Community Outreach