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A Lifetime of Crime-Fighting Experience


Sheriff Jim Matthews has spent his life serving our country and community, and protecting our children and families. He has fought crime around the nation, across the state, and down the street, holding positions and earning honors that include:

Federal Experience
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Special Agent and Agent in Charge

  • High-level, federal drug investigations for 16 S.C. counties including Kershaw Co.
  • Led elite counter-narcotics unit in Thailand targeting Asian heroin traffickers
  • Extensive undercover work in Florida, SE Asia, the Caribbean, & Central America
  • Instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA
  • Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA

State & Local Experience

  • Kershaw County Sheriff (2011-Present)
  • Narcotics Investigator with the Richland and Lexington County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbia Police Department
  • Member of the SWAT Team for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Coroner in the Richland County Coroner’s Office, investigating suspicious death cases


  • Strom Thurmond Excellence in Law Enforcement Award (2013)
  • J.P. Strom Award – Top Student (SC Criminal Justice Academy)
  • Governor’s Twenty (South Carolina Police Combat Firearms Competition) 
  • DEA Basic Agent Training - Top Student: academics & physical training
  • NRA Practical Police Combat –National Championships 1st Place Marksman Div. 


  • Tactical Instructor School (DEA Training / FBI Academy)
  • Jungle Operations Training (US Army / Panama)
  • Media and Public Information Training (DEA Training, Washington, DC)
  • Firearms Instructor (DEA Training / FLETC, Glynco, GA)
  • Advanced Tactical Firearms Training (Chapman Academy, Columbia, MO)
  • Airport Interdiction (DEA Training / Denver, Colorado)
  • Highway Interdiction (DEA Training)
  • Financial Investigations Training (DEA Training/FBI Academy)
  • Conspiracy Investigations Training (DEA Training/Miami, FL)
  • Course Developer and Instructor Course (FBI Academy)
    SWAT (FBI Academy)


Jim is also as committed to his family and church as he is to his career. He has been married to Heather Hoopes-Matthews for 16 years, has three children, six grandchildren and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Camden.

Jim and Heather moved to Kershaw County in 2003. They live near Boykin.

Jim is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.


Phone Jim: 803.606.3368email Jim: