Four South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Receive 2019 Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement
Awards ceremony held Friday at the Lexington Two Innovation Center
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA –United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that 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 36th annual Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Luncheon at the Lexington Two Innovation Center in Cayce. 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 2019 awards:
City – Chief Terrence Green, Lexington Police Department
County – Sergeant Randy Clinton, York County Sheriff’s Office
Federal – Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Michael Connelly, Federal Bureau of Investigation
State – Deputy Director Brian Joseph Bolchoz, South Carolina Department of Corrections
The Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement were established by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers whose performance demonstrates 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.
U.S. Attorney Lydon stated, "These four outstanding officers exemplify the best in law enforcement. They serving their agencies, this state, and our nation day in and day out with distinction, integrity, and character. Like all of our fine men and women in uniform, they make tremendous personal sacrifices to ensure just enforcement.”
Terrence Green – Chief, Lexington Police Department
Chief Green began his career in law enforcement at the University of South Carolina Police Department as a reserve police officer. After graduating from USC, he joined the Town of Lexington Police Department in 1993. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Assistant Police Chief. Chief Green was appointed Chief of Police of the Town of Lexington Police Department on October 2, 2006.
Chief Green embraces the community policing concept and strives to solve problems by building a partnership with the community that he serves. “Despite his considerable achievements, Chief Green has maintained a reputation of both personal integrity and humility. He is a role model for all law enforcement officers to emulate,” said Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon.
Chief Green has a BA in Criminal Justice and an MPA from Strayer University. He has also earned several other accreditations from the FBI National Academy and the Law Enforcement Executive Development Program. Chief Green and his wife Melinda have three children and are active members of the Brookland Baptist Church.
Randy Clinton – Sergeant, York County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Randy Clinton began his career in 1984 and became involved in canine handling at the York County Sheriff’s Office in 1988. During his tenure as a canine team member and leader at the York County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Clinton has been personally involved in over 4000 tracks resulting in approximately 2500 locates or captures. These incidents have ranged from missing vulnerable persons, to persons eluding law enforcement for simple crimes to murders. Sergeant Clinton is recognized not only in the State of South Carolina, but nationwide as an expert in human and bloodhound tracking.
He has been instrumental in coordinating and hosting an annual York County Bloodhound Tracking School for 19 years. He has instituted a bloodhound breeding program that has provided over 75 bloodhounds to agencies across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and West Virginia.
In January 2018, Sergeant Clinton nearly gave the ultimate sacrifice while tracking a violent domestic offender and was seriously shot and wounded along with 3 other officers. His positive attitude and outlook in the following days and months inspired and helped the healing process for those affected, as well as the community.
“It is without fail that Sergeant Clinton comes through for those in need. It is the act to which his life’s focus has been, though he remains humble in his actions of service and sacrifice,” said The Honorable Bruce M. Bryant, Representative, District 48, South Carolina House of Representatives.
Michael Connelly - Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Prior to joining the FBI, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Mike Connelly served in the U.S. Army for almost ten years, including a combat tour in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. In his 20-year FBI career, SSRA Connelly has served in several investigative and leadership assignments to include four tours to war zones in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
As the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent for the Myrtle Beach and Florence Resident Agencies (RAs), SSRA Connelly is responsible for all aspects of both RAs. As the senior FBI official in Myrtle Beach, he understands the priorities of local law enforcement leaders and utilizes the FBI's sophisticated and technological capabilities to support those agencies. SSRA Connelly leads and actively contributes as a case Agent. He is the lead investigator on Myrtle Beach's largest Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation in over a decade, which charged 33 defendants. He planned and coordinated 27 simultaneous arrests of violent offenders by leveraging relationships with 125 state and local officers. He led two investigations in Myrtle Beach resulting in the conviction of over 60 gang subjects involved in trafficking heroin and fentanyl. He supplemented his FBI resources by building three separate federal task forces to combat violent crime, terrorism, and human trafficking. He led two separate death penalty investigations, and also led the FBI's response in Florence to a police officer shooting where two officers were killed and five more officers severely wounded.
“No matter the task, Mike performs his duties both as a supervisory special agent and as a case agent with unmatched skill, integrity, and effectiveness. He is relentless. He is making a difference. I find myself just trying to keep up with him. The people of Myrtle Beach and its surrounding areas are safer because of Mike Connelly,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon.
“We are proud to see Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Mike Connelly recognized for his outstanding accomplishments. He is also an exceptional leader and that has been demonstrated by the remarkable work done by his FBI colleagues in conjunction with our federal, state and local partners in and around Myrtle Beach. SSRA Connelly has dedicated his adult life to serving his country by way of being an officer in the U.S. Army and now as an FBI Special Agent. We all should be grateful to have him on our team here in South Carolina,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jody Norris.
Brian Joseph Bolchoz - Deputy Director, South Carolina Department of Corrections
Brian Bolchoz is the Deputy Director of Police Services for the South Carolina Department of Corrections with over 24 years of law enforcement experience. His previous positions include serving nine years with the Mount Pleasant Police Department; three years as a special investigator with the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office; and seven years with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as a criminal investigator and lieutenant. Since joining the Department of Corrections, Deputy Director Bolchoz has used his knowledge and relationships built throughout his career to reorganize the Division of Police Services in order to successfully handle the criminal and administrative investigative needs of the Department of Corrections.
Since joining the Department of Corrections, Deputy Director Bolchoz increased the number of Class 1 Law Enforcement Officers from 22 to 46 to better meet the needs of the agency and to better protect its staff and inmates and the public. Additionally, contraband cell phones have been a dangerous tool that inmates utilize to continue their criminal behavior from behind bars. Deputy Director Bolchoz took this public safety threat seriously and created a criminal analyst section for monitoring activities of the inmate population. This important addition has allowed SCDC Police Services to become an intelligence focal point for local, state, and federal authorities in an effort to combat criminal activity related to criminal gangs and their related enterprises inside and outside the walls of SCDC.
“It is rare to find such a dedicated and determined law enforcement officer such as Deputy Director Bolchoz. He works continuously to help our State continue to be a safer place for future generations,” said SCDC Director Bryan P. Stirling.
Deputy Director Bolchoz earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice from the College of Charleston. He is a member of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, and the South Carolina Correctional Association.