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Highway dedicated to fallen Charleston County Officer Steven Buist Hiott

Source: Live 5 News Source: Live 5 News
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

The Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3 hosted a ceremony on Friday to honor fallen Charleston County Patrolman Steven Buist Hiott, Jr.

Hiott died in the line of duty in 1982 while conducting a traffic stop in Hollywood, South Carolina.  

The Fraternal Order of Police with the help of Senators Larry Groom and Paul Thurmond asked the legislature to name a portion of Highway 165 "Charleston County Policeman Steven Buist Hiott, Jr. Memorial Highway."

Hiott's wife, Pam Hiott-Meade, and son, Steven Hiott- Meade, were at the dedication ceremony. 

"We never forget and it's just very comforting to know that 34 years later people still remember and my husband obviously touched the lives of many people and the community," Pam said.

According to the media release, on Oct. 29, 1982 Hiott and Patrolman Michael O'Connell made a traffic stop at an abandoned gas station near the intersection of Highway 162 and 165 in Hollywood. Authorities say the officers believed the man stopped was suspected of stealing beer from a nearby convenience store.

Police say the suspect was 21 years old and he fought with the officers and disarmed one of them. Authorities say the suspect shot and killed Patrolman Hiott and critically injured Patrolman O'Connell. People passing by saw the shooting and stopped to help both of the officers and used one of the police car radios to call for help.

John Nick Gianatos worked with Hiott and he was at the scene the night of the shooting.

"I helped pick up Steve with two other officers and layed him on the stretcher and later on I drove his car to the sheriffs office and parked it," Gianatos said.

Hiott was age 31 at the time of his death and a seven-year veteran of the Police Department at the time. 

Gianatos keeps the article from his funeral in a safe place, he brought it the dedication.

"Steve was well liked, a lot of [people respected him] and he showed it back to them, he was well loved out here and he was just a great person to work with a great family man too," he said. "He is well missed. I think about him all the time."

President of the Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3, John Blackmon says the group noticed other areas had roadways named after fallen officers so they looked through to see which Charleston County officers had not been named. They chose to start with a memorial highway dedication for Hiott because he was the first member of the Tri-County Lodge #3 killed in the line of duty.

"All these people show out we see young officers, old officers, retired officers all coming to give honor and remember Steve," Blackmon said. "That's important especially for the family, they know that he hasn't been forgotten."

The Mayor of Hollywood Jacquelyn Heyward and State Representative Robert Brown were also at the dedication.

Hiott' son Steven Hiott- Meade was two years old at the time his dad was killed. He's now in law enforcement to also protect and serve. 

"That's what he was doing that night," Pam said. "He loved this area I don't know what it was but he was drawn to this area."

Hiott's name was engraved on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Memorial on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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