Effective media relations is a must in the 21st century.
A law enforcement agency that wants to connect with its citizens but omits media relations from the equation is damaging its ability to effectively serve the citizens.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has created a model community policing agency emphasizing good media relations. Sheriff Lott understands that citizens form opinions based on what they see, hear, and read, which is why media relations is just as important as the most successful crime prevention initiative.
For immediate media assistance please contact the on-call Public Affairs Officer. For assistance with other Sheriff’s Department services please see the respective divisions and units listed throughout our website.
Journalists in need of immediate assistance on breaking news matters, please contact the on-call Public Affairs Officer by dialing 803-576-1405. An on-call PAO will answer the line, 24/7. For non-breaking news, you may call the same number during regular business hours.
Journalists may also send an email with their request to the the Public Affairs team.
Freedom of Information Act
If you would like to make a Freedom of Information Act request to the Richland County Sheriff's Department, please follow the steps listed below:
All FOIA requests must be submitted in writing. Standard RCSD FOIA Request Forms are available for your convenience at 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, S.C. or at the following link:
Once the form has been filled out it can be submitted the following ways:
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Attn: Freedom of Information Officer
5623 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29223
Via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In person at 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, S.C., during business hours Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. excluding public holidays).
Fee Schedule: *subject to change at Department's discretion
Retrieval / redaction fee $30/hr
Archive retrieval fee $36 /box (subject to increase depending on number of boxes)
CD / DVD fee $5/disk
Printed copies $0.15/page
If payment is required, records may only be collected upon payment submitted in advance or at pick up from RCSD HQ in person at 5623 Two Notch Road during business hours Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding public holidays).
In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.
Employment: Richland County Sheriff’s Department does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title I of the ADA.
Effective Communication: The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in Richland County Sheriff’s Department programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.
Modifications to Policies and Procedures: The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities.
Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of Richland County Sheriff’s Department, should contact the ADA Coordinator – Deputy Chief Joanna McDuffie, 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29223, (803) 576-3000 as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event. Request for an accommodation should allow for sufficient time to provide it.
The ADA does not require the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.
Complaints that a program, service, or activity of Richland County Sheriff’s Department is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to the ADA Coordinator – Traci Dove, 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29223, (803) 576-3000. The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem. The ADA Coordinator will contact the complaint within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint to discuss the complaint and will respond in writing within 15 days of the discussion.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.