Sheriffs are authority figures, seen at crime scenes or at podiums explaining announcing major busts or operations.
But in the last few years, sheriffs from across the state have been making the news for all the wrong reasons.
The Anderson Independent Mail has posted an Associated Press article detailing some of the incidents that have landed SC sheriffs in the media spotlight, and in some cases, jail.
Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis is the newest president of the SC Sheriff's Association, but was that group's second choice for the position. The first choice, former Saluda County Sheriff Jason Booth, was indicted for misconduct.
One former SC sheriff is now in prison himself. Former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin is serving an 18 year prison sentence for taking kickbacks to protect drug dealers.
Let's be clear here, the sheriffs mentioned in the article are just a small number of the sheriffs overseeing law enforcement in South Carolina. They shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush.
Next week, Pickens County voters will have an opportunity to meet the county's next sheriff.
A sheriff's candidate debate will be held 6pm-8pm Tuesday, August 28 at First Wesleyan Church of Easley.
Candidates Rick Clark, Stan Whitten and Tim Morgan have all committed to attend the debate. They will answer questions submitted by a number of Pickens County groups.
The public is encouraged to attend the debate. One of these three candidates will be our next sheriff, and it's important to get their views on the issues.