WALHALLA – Capt. Jeff Underwood was awarded the Oconee Officer of the Year award during the ninth annual Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet held at the Anderson Recreation Center.
Underwood is over the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Uniform Road Patrol.
The award is sponsored by 10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams.
The banquet, held April 21, benefits the criminal justice scholarship funds for the criminal justice programs at Anderson University and Tri-County Technical College. The keynote speaker was S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Underwood was recognized for his efforts and work to secure and purchase tourniquet kits for all certified deputies with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, which included a fundraiser held in 2013 in Fair Play and donations from Tactical Medical Solutions of Anderson. The acquisition of the tourniquet kits did not involve the use of taxpayer money.
In presenting the award, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw praised Underwood’s efforts to go outside conventional thinking to accomplish goals and tasks.
“I have always encouraged our staff to find new ways to be more effective and be more efficient,” Crenshaw said. “I am very fortunate to say that we have a deputy who met this challenge. He (Underwood) came up with the idea of wanting to equip each one of our officers with a simple piece of equipment that has the potential to save lives.”
Crenshaw pointed out two instances since the purchase of the kits in which they were used to save lives. The first occurred Nov. 5, 2013, and helped save the life of a retired deputy from Pickens County who involved in an accidental shooting in Oconee County while hiking.
The second occurred Feb. 26 and involved another accidental shooting in which the victim was shot above the knee. Both individuals survived and the tourniquets kits were used by deputies who responded to both incidents.
Underwood is a member of the command staff at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and has been a deputy since 2002. Before his time in law enforcement, Underwood served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. Underwood was promoted to captain of the Uniform Patrol Division last year.