Award presented on the 50-yard-line during last week’s football game
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott was one of five first-responder leaders recognized by Benedict College for “Outstanding Service to the College and the Community” in appreciation of first responders on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. The recognitions – engraved plaques for leaders from the Richland County Sheriff’’s Department, the City of Columbia Police Department, the Benedict College Police Department, the Columbia Fire Department, and the S.C. Highway Patrol – were presented by Benedict College’s Director of Athletics Willie Washington and Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Benedict College.
“This is a much-appreciated honor from good friends, one of our city’s sterling institutions of higher learning, and one of our nation’s most respected HBCUs,” said Lott. “I accept this award on behalf of my deputies. I’m simply the holder in trust: Richland County’s brave, committed deputy sheriffs, all of them, are the recipients.”
The awards were presented at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium on the 50-yard-line at halftime during the Benedict vs Fort Valley State University Football game, which Benedict incidentally won 48-6. The Benedict Tigers are currently 7-0 so far in the 2023 season. The Tigers were 10-0 in the regular 2022 season, and they became 11-0 after defeating Tuskegee University, becoming Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions, which was a program first.
National First Responders Day is Oct. 28.
– Pictured (L-R) are AD Willie Washington, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, Sheriff Leon Lott, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Wendell Gerrod Bing (a former standout Benedict Tiger defensive lineman), Master Deputy Braylyn Kenneth Salmond, and Sergeant Laquan A. Sumpter.