3 SC law enforcement officers honored as officers of the year

Nominees included police officers from Charleston, North Charleston
Gov. Henry McMaster will be joined by finalists from multiple agencies at the Inaugural...
Gov. Henry McMaster will be joined by finalists from multiple agencies at the Inaugural Governor's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year ceremony Friday in Columbia.(Live 5/File)
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 10:57 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2023 at 1:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Caroling Gov. Henry McMaster presented awards to 13 law enforcement professionals nominated for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year honors.

“I’m proud and thankful for those of our people who determined and decided to go into law enforcement,” McMaster said of the law enforcement officers in the state. “A lot of us get up in the morning and put on a shirt and a tie looking in the mirror. People in this room get up in the morning and put on a bulletproof vest and go out to who knows what is going to happen.”

Three officers of the year were named, one in each of three categories: state, county and municipal. Each will receive $10,000.

Senior Special Agent David Owen III with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was named State Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Owen joined SLED in 2015 and served law enforcement in Orangeburg and Charleston Counties for nearly 20 years. In July 2021, he became the lead agent in the investigation of the double murder of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in Colleton County. He was credited as helping secure a conviction against disbarred Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh, the husband of Maggie and father of Paul.

SSgt. Blake Weathersby with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office was named the county Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Weathersby joined the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in 2006 where he worked his way through the ranks to become a shift supervisor.

He was wounded int he leg while responding to a domestic violence incident back on Sept. 25. Unable to walk, Weathersby immediately returned fire and crawled to cover and made sure deputies took cover and kept them informed of the suspect’s location. He and two other deputies later received the Medal of Valor from the South Carolina Sheriffs Association for their actions that day..

For the municipal category, Officer Luke Boling with The Rock Hill Police Department received the honor.

Boling has served with the department since 2011, serving on several units and task forces including the FBI Safe Streets Task Force since 2016. His tireless work on the four-year Rock Vegas investigation with federal authorities helped disrupt two attempts by drug trafficking organizations to smuggle narcotics into a South Carolina corrections facility. His nomination stated his efforts have led to the conviction of 31 defendants on federal charges and 23 on state charges, along with the seizure of more than $775,000, 50 firearms, 20 vehicles, 28 kilos of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl and more than 225,000 fraudulent fentanyl pills. Boling has received the 2022 South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association Officer of the Year Award and the 2022 Alston Wilkes Award.

There were 13 finalists, including officers from two Lowcountry police departments:

  • Department of Natural Resources
  • State Law Enforcement Division
  • South Carolina Highway Patrol
  • South Carolina Department of Corrections
  • Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Greenville County Sheriff’s Office
  • Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office
  • Horry County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sumter County Sheriff’s Office
  • Columbia Police Department
  • North Charleston Police Department
  • Rock Hill Police Department
  • Charleston Police Department

The event coincides with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, which continues through Saturday.