Lexington County deputy has found a home in the special victims unit

Investigator Carleisha Gilliam knew she wanted to work in law enforcement at an early age.

Gilliam told people, even at 3 or 4 years old, she wanted to be a law enforcement officer, and she stuck to that plan.

Gilliam graduated from Lander University and went to graduate school at Columbia College. She then found her home at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

She started as a patrol deputy in 2019 and moved up to the major crimes unit in just two years. Gilliam said her co-workers immediately noticed her potential, which pushed her to work harder.

“It feels good to have people that back you up, and you just met them,” Gilliam said. “It’s like they’re family now.”

After moving up, Gilliam continued to experience that family environment, as her investigator team became her favorite part about the job.

“We’re the special victims unit, so we deal with a lot of children who have been abused, sexually or physically,” Gilliam said. “That in itself is tough but to have the team that I have, I just really couldn’t ask for any other guys to work with…for us to just get each other through it and still do our job and maintain like a good mental state.”

These experiences as an investigator have taught her many lessons, none more important than how she can push herself.

“I learned that it’s OK to step outside,” Gilliam said. “It’s OK to get uncomfortable because in this job you have to be uncomfortable in order to grow.”

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