Published on April 25th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
SHERIFF KOON SWORN IN AS 39TH SHERIFF OF LEXINGTON COUNTY
Lexington County Sheriff Bryan “Jay” Koon took the oath of office as the 39th sheriff of Lexington County during a standing-room only ceremony that was conducted at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 24 in the main courtroom of the historic Lexington County Courthouse at 139 East Main Street in Lexington.
The Honorable R. Knox McMahon, who serves as a judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit, conducted a special session of court in order to administer the oath of office to Koon as the newly elected sheriff of Lexington County. Koon was elected to serve as Lexington County’s chief law enforcement officer during a special election that was held on Tuesday, April 21. Koon will finish the remainder of a term of office that will expire at the end of 2016.
“This is a wonderful day for Jay and his family and for all the citizens in Lexington County,” McMahon said in addressing a courtroom that was filled to capacity.
Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green, who is Koon’s former boss and a long-time friend, told the audience that Koon is a devoted family man, avid hunter and avid fisherman. Green said he knows that Koon will rely on his Christian faith in carrying out his duties as sheriff.
“Jay is a God-fearing, Christian man. He loves Lexington County,” Green said. “Jay knows that he is going to have many battles and many tough days ahead. God will lead the way.”
Lewis McCarty, who served as interim sheriff of Lexington County from June 17, 2014 until Friday, told the audience that Koon uses three simple words to guide his life: knowledge, courage and integrity.
“Jay has knowledge. He is fully aware of what lies ahead for him,” McCarty said. “Jay has the courage to do the right thing and to serve all of the people equally and fairly. Jay is honest. He is going to make a wonderful sheriff in this county.”
Koon received a sustained standing ovation from the audience after McMahon administered the oath of office for sheriff.
“I chose this venue because I love the history of this county,” Koon said. “I am very much looking forward to working with the men and women of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department as well as law enforcement in this county and in this state.”
Koon, 42, previously served as the assistant chief of police at the Lexington Police Department. During his 20-year tenure at the Police Department, Koon served as a detective, patrol sergeant, watch commander and special operations lieutenant. Koon, who is an Eagle Scout, graduated from the FBI National Academy (Session 235) in 2008 and Leadership Lexington County.
Koon graduated from Lexington High School in 1990 and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1994, with a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice. Koon has volunteered his time as a coach for youth baseball teams and Boy Scout leader. Koon serves on the Lexington Technology Center Advisory Board and is an active member of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association and Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers’ Association. Koon is president of the FBI National Academy Associates South Carolina chapter.
Koon, his wife and their two children are members of Saxe-Gotha Presbyterian Church in Lexington. Kim Koon is a teacher at a middle school in Lexington County School District One.
The first recorded sheriff of Lexington County was Thomas Herbert, who was appointed to the office of sheriff in 1806. The first courthouse and jail for the area were located in the town of Granby (located in present day Cayce). Back then, the Sheriff’s Department was a one-man operation, with the sheriff living and working in the jail and courthouse.