FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2009
LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE INCREASED AT SAND HILLS STATE FOREST
(Columbia,SC)–-Those contemplating pine straw theft or other crimes at Sand Hills State Forest may want to know that they will be going up against the newest member of the Forestry Commission’s law enforcement division. Forest technician Mickey Worthington graduated with honors from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and was sworn-in as a Forestry Commission law enforcement officer this week. He’s already on the job at the 46,000-acre state forest which he knows like the back of his hand.
At the Criminal Justice Academy SCFC cadets receive practical instruction in firearms, pursuit driving, defensive tactics, and physical fitness. Worthington’s academic training included criminal law, search and seizure, and arrest procedures. While his area of operation includes Chesterfield and Darlington counties, Worthington possess statewide jurisdiction.
Worthington now adds to his forest tech duties the responsibilities and powers that come with being a fully qualified law enforcement officer and investigator. Sand Hills has recently been the target of pine straw thieves. Our state forests are self-sufficient because they produce forest products for market. When these resources are stolen, it costs all South Carolina taxpayers.
Forestry and timber-related businesses constitute the number one manufacturing industry in South Carolina. The South Carolina Forestry Commission is committed to protecting the Palmetto State’s public and private forest resources.
Editors, News Directors: For more information, call Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820.
The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource. For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,000.00 of economic impact.