A Lexington County Sheriff deputy’s efforts to help convert a spot once used for illegal activity into a community garden and park have earned him department recognition.
David Nieves was honored for the second quarter of 2012 during a recent employee awards ceremony. The 49-year-old Nieves, of Irmo, oversaw the construction of the Drafts-Skenes Community Garden and Park on a 1-acre property on Meetze Road where an abandoned crack house once stood.
The construction was part of a community restoration effort that the Sheriff’s Department, local churches, civic groups and businesses initiated in 2009 on Meetze Road and English Drive, both of which had been breeding grounds for drug deals and other criminal activity, department officials said.
“All kinds of criminal activity plagued this community not too many years ago, but the good, law-abiding people in this community joined law enforcement and others to clean this community up,” said Sheriff James Metts.
Metts presented Nieves with the award and praised the deputy’s efforts in restoring the park and his overall commitment to the county.
“David regularly works in partnership with fellow deputies, citizens and businesses to accomplish community service projects in Lexington County,” Metts said. “He cares deeply about the community that he serves.”
Nieves has held several positions at the Sheriff’s Department, including as a road patrol deputy and a school resource officer at Northside Middle School.
Larry Ogburn, owner of the Wateree Dive Center, Inc., received the Sheriff’s Award, the highest honor the sheriff can bestow, during the recent award ceremony.
Metts recognized Ogburn for his 23 years of assistance to the department’s Dive Team.
“Larry has extended his expertise and friendship to our agency and other law enforcement agencies at local, state and federal levels since 1979,” Metts said. “He is our friend and we’re honored to have such a genuine relationship with a strong supporter of law enforcement.”
The Sheriff’s Department Dive Team was reorganized in May 2011 to meet the increasing demands on public-safety diving with a goal of supporting rescue, recovery and criminal investigation efforts as well as improving incident management and homeland security.