On Monday, January 4th, at 10 am, Kristin Graziano will be sworn in as Charleston County’s next sheriff. She will first be sworn in privately by Charleston County Clerk of Court Julie Armstrong in the Clerk’s Office, and immediately afterwards will move to a more formal swearing-in ceremony officiated by Family Court Judge Michele Patrao Forsythe in the Old Historic Courthouse at 84 Broad St. in downtown Charleston. The formal ceremony will be limited to family and friends in order to follow COVID-19 protocols.
Graziano will officially take the reins of the Sheriff’s Office at midnight on Tuesday, January 5th. Batches of law enforcement will be sworn in under the new administration throughout the day on the 5th via video recordings, also following COVID-19 protocols. These small ceremonies will take place at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office training room at 3691 Leeds Ave. Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. McCoy will lead the swearing in ceremonies on Tuesday.
Al Cannon Detention Center employees will be sworn in throughout the week, starting on Wednesday, January 6th.
Kristin Graziano won her election on November 3rd, 2020, and will succeed longtime Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon.
“I am looking forward to serving Charleston County in this capacity, and I’m excited to take the reins of this great agency," Sheriff-Elect Graziano said. "We will continue to protect and serve with the same level of professionalism and excellence that our residents expect. I also look forward to bringing more transparency and accountability to the community. We have a lot of work to do to repair bonds with our Black and Latinx brothers and sisters, and that will be a primary focus during my first 100 days.”
“I wish Sheriff Cannon well and thank him for his dedication to the residents of Charleston County. I appreciate his help during the transition. It’s an honor to take the baton.”
Graziano is a 32-year law enforcement veteran and will be the first elected woman and first openly LGBTQ person to hold the office of sheriff in South Carolina. During her 18 years at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, she served as member and trainer for the SWAT team. She also designed and implemented a uniform response code for active shooter scenarios for Charleston County schools that was later used as a model for the rest of the state.
She is a 2015 recipient of the Medal of Valor from the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association and a 2011 President’s Award from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Additionally, Graziano created a port safety threat analysis for Charleston as part of the Sea Hawk Anti-terrorism Task Force (now known as the Interagency Events Center).