UNION — When Sheriff David Taylor took office in 2009, he introduced end-of-the-year awards to recognize employees who have exemplified service beyond the call of duty and excelled in their respective roles.
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got good people and they need to be recognized for their accomplishments,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the awards are based on attendance, attitude and service, and individuals are decided upon by administrative staff and their immediate supervisors. Sheriff Taylor pointed out that Terry Humphries, who is one of the department’s lead investigators, has worked in every aspect of law enforcement for Union County. Taylor said Humphries is always available when he is needed.
Investigator of the Year: Lt. Terry Humphries
The Investigator of the Year award was presented to Lt. Terry Humphries.
Growing up, Terry Humphries always wanted to be a police officer. He has worked with the Union County Sheriff’s Office in some capacity for the past 26 years.
“I think it’s something you’ve got to like to do,” Humphries said. “It’s not just a job. If you just get into it to have a job, you won’t enjoy it.”
He began his career in one of Union County’s first reserve deputy programs, where he worked for four years before becoming a patrol officer. After a couple years on the road, Humphries became a narcotics officer, which he continued for 10 years before taking on his current duties as investigator.
Aside from being assigned cases, Humphries said planning his day can be difficult.
“You can’t really go in planning for what will happen because it’s never the same two days in a row,” Humphries said. “Every day is something different.”
He mentioned some of the ways in which local law enforcement has changed over the years.
“The call volume is higher,” Humphries said, referring back to when he began his career. “Back then, we might go a whole third-shift rotation and get two or three calls.”
Humphries said the most noticeable change since he began his career in law enforcement is the prevalence of technology.
“The technology is just so much greater today,” he said. “I didn’t grow up in that era, and sometimes it can be really hard.”
That was when Humphries brought up what he considers to be a strong point of the Union County Sheriff’s Office — teamwork. Any time he encounters difficulty with a particular task, all he has to do is call on one of his fellow investigators.
“At the sheriff’s office, all the investigators work together as well as anybody,” he said. “Sheriff Taylor has put in an atmosphere where teamwork has been a lot stronger because he’s been a part of that team. He’s just as much a part of the team as anybody.”
Although at age 64, Humphries doesn’t know how much longer he plans to continue his career, he does know he wants to be an investigator for the remainder of that time.
“I enjoy the people I work with and the people I work for,” he said. “The situation couldn’t be any better than it is now.”
Humphries said he is thankful for the help and cooperation he has received from his co-workers. He said his philosophy on the job is the same as in any other situation.
“Treat people the way you want to be treated,” he said. “My dad told me that a long time ago. Sometimes people won’t let you, but most of the time, if you try doing that, you will succeed.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.