American Legion Post 25 Recognizes Civil Servants in Laurens County – Two Receive Statewide Awards and Recognition

June 28, 2023

Each Year the American Legion Department of South Carolina in Columbia asks the 160 Posts in the state to nominate and recognize deserving civil servants in the community.

Working with the supervisors at the Laurens City Police Department, the Laurens City Fire Department, and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, American Legion Post 25 (Post 25) received numerous nominations for deserving individuals working in our community. After much consideration and review top performers were identified and the best of the best were forwarded to the State level competition.

Those selected are:

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Captain Dillon B. Sherfield, Laurens City Police Department 

Captain Sherfield has repeatedly distinguished himself during the past 9 years with extreme dedication to the City of Laurens in the performance of all duties. As a supervisor he has been responsible for training all officers under his supervision. He constantly strives to improve himself through education and has obtained his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, completed numerous courses thru FEMA for Incident Management and Incident Command. When Sherfield discovered that the state of South Carolina had only one certifying official for the National Narcotics Detection Dog Association, he diligently sought a slot to attend all training and became the second certifying official for the state. He and his partner Kai are certified to train and certify other K-9 teams in the detection of Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, Heroin, and MDMA. He is a founding member of the Laurens PD SWAT team. Sherfield is currently serving as the department liaison with the Laurens Business Coalition due to his extreme professionalism and ability to interact with the community. Capt. Sherfield is a selfless leader who always goes above and beyond the call of duty. He was promoted to Captain in 2022 and assumed the responsibility over all road patrol shifts, he also supervises the specialized units of traffic and K-9, plus vehicle maintenance and performs additional administrative duties. He continues to serve as 1 of 2 certifying officials for the state of South Carolina assessing K-9 teams across the state ensuring they are fit to operate as a team performing their specialized duties. He has been personally responsible for investigating 6 high level drug trafficking cases with dozens of other possession charges. He was also responsible for investigating several major felony crimes that extended across state lines.

The American Legion Award for Bravery – Sergeant Andrew “Drew” Spillers, Laurens City Police

Sergeant Andrew “Drew” Spillers demonstrated unparalleled Bravery on Oct 16th 2022 when he arrived on the scene of an active fire from a vehicle collision.  Sgt. Spillers quickly learned that there was an occupant inside a vehicle that firefighters were working to extinguish flames from.  After checking all doors and finding them to be locked, he used a window punch and took special care to avoid getting glass onto the occupant. Spillers then cut the seatbelt from the occupant and attempted to remove him from the vehicle. At this point the front driver’s tire exploded and sent glass flying towards Sgt. Spillers. Fortunately he suffered only minor injuries and was able to continue to extricate the occupant of the car. He removed the occupant from the vehicle, escorted him to a safe location away from the scene, checked him for additional injuries and then returned to the vehicle to investigate the collision before attending to his own injuries.

Firefighter of the Year – Engineer Randy LaCount, Laurens City Fire Department

Firefighter LaCount distighuished himelf by demonstrating incredible initiative while learning all duties of his position in record time. During periods of short staffing Firefighter LaCount repeatedly stepped up working numerous extra shifts. He completed numerous levels of training and certification courses in record time and frequently volunteers to help with public fire prevention education events throughout the Laurens Community. Even though he is considered a “Rookie” in the department he has demonstrated maturity and initiative above and beyond the department’s expectations and has served in supervisory roles during emergency staffing shortages.

The American Legion Department of South Carolina Annual Convention was held on Friday, May 19 and state level awards were presented from among the submissions of the 160 posts.

Immediate Past Department Commander Jim Jarvis and Department Adjutant Mike Straus recognized Captain Dillon Sherfield with the Laurens Police Department as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and Sergeant Andrew Spillers was presented the Award for Bravery.

At their monthly meeting on June 27, American Legion Post 25 presented each of the local heroes with a certificate of appreciation for their commitment to the community and a check for $500.

“It is an honor to have such dedicated members of Law Enforcement and the Fire Department working in our community,” said Post 25 Commander Jim Peterson. “We appreciate the support from their supervisors helping us put together the nomination packages for these awards and getting them the recognition they so rightfully deserve.”