Meet Nominee Sheriff Lee Foster

By September 13, 2018No Comments

Sheriff Lee Foster is a part of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, and his nomination reads that he “is passionate about law enforcement, but more importantly, he’s passionate about serving his fellow man.” Sheriff Lee Foster has wanted to be in law enforcement since he was a small child. He has lived in the area for his whole life and has been in law enforcement for almost 40 years.
When asked about a time he thought he truly made a difference in the community, he had some remarkable stories to share. “A lady found her mothers murdered. It was a really tragic set of circumstances. When I drove up and saw her face, being so distraught, and when I drove up and tried to comfort her… under the circumstances, she said she knew me, we went to church together. She saw me grow up and she thought things were going to be ok under the circumstances. Just being able to be there for her.”
He also recounted a time where he had to tell a longtime friend of his that her child had been killed in a car accident. “It was so awful. But, she’s always said ‘I am so happy it was you and not some stranger.’ To be able to be a friend in need, not just in those two cases, but a lot of them.”
Sheriff Foster trusts his community and the community trusts him. He knows just about everyone there. “We have our problems, just like everyone else, but for the most part we are pretty cohesive. We try to work and help each other. I can tell you, when things go bad, people are willing to help.”
When asked about what it meant for him to give back, he said “I don’t know how it would be otherwise. We have always done that—my family. My mother was a school teacher and, back in the day, teachers did a little bit of everything. They didn’t get paid for those things. My dad volunteered and did things. We didn’t know any different. I just picked it up, and when I was 18 years old, I joined the volunteer fire department and worked in the recreational department. I just don’t know anything different. I was raised that way.”
He makes himself available to everyone. His nomination read that, “he answered his own telephone calls, returns his own emails, and allows citizens to contact him through social media. He teaches that law enforcement is much more than simple enforcing the law. He is always willing to listen to anyone even when their problem is not law enforcement related. He will bend over backwards to help anyone in a time of need.”
Sheriff Foster is constantly recognized in the Newberry community for his contributions to the community. He has received numerous awards throughout his career from the National Humanitarian of the Year by the National Victim Right’s Advocates to the NAACP I have a Dream Award for community service, the Women on a Mission Award for Community Service and Investment, and the South Carolina Victim’s Rights Supporter of the Year. The nomination states that there are many more that could be listed, but these paint a picture of the man Sheriff Foster is in the community.
“Besides his investment in the community, Sheriff Foster is considered one of the premiere law enforcement officers in South Carolina,” the nomination continued. “He serves on numerous state and national committees including South Carolina Training Committee, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Hall of Fame, the National Bullet Resistant Vest Committee, and the National Small, Rural, and Tribal Law Enforcement Committee for the Department of Justice.”
“It’s been an honor to serve 40 years, and I’m still active with the fire department,” Sheriff Foster said. “There have been some difficult times, some heartbreaking things that have happened, but the good outweighs the bad. I am so appreciative of the people who have given me the opportunity to be the sheriff and I never forget that. I work for them. I work for the people. I am honored and humbled to serve. I am blessed to have a family that has allowed me to do that… I am very appreciative of my family for what they have sacrificed so I can serve.”
Please join us in celebrating Sheriff Lee Foster as one of our finalists for our Offer Gregory Alia Award!
About the Officer Gregory Alia Award
Serve & Connect was founded by Kassy Alia in memory of her husband, Greg Alia, who was killed in the line of duty on September 30th, 2015. This prestigious annual award is named in his honor and recognizes an outstanding officer who demonstrates a commitment to serve his/her community with respect and compassion; one who goes above the call of duty to ensure that members of the community are protected, cared for, and feel valued; one who treats all members of the community as equal and who employed their role with thoughtfulness and tact; and who through everyday interactions builds a safer community for all. The award is presented at our annual event, the Knight of Honor Gala, which will be held on September 28, 2018 in Columbia, SC.