Officer Receives Partnership Award
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) presented the 2013 Partnership for Public Safety Award on Friday, July 19 to Lexington County Detention Center Designated Immigration Officer Kevin Farley, who enforces federal immigration laws at the Detention Center under ICE’s supervision.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Farley, 59, of Irmo, was honored for going above his normal duties to support and contribute to ICE’s mission. Farley is one of only three recipients nationally of the Partnership for Public Safety Award, and Farley is the only correctional officer who will receive the award from ICE. On February 25, 2008, Metts appointed Farley to serve as a correctional officer at the Detention Center.
“We work as a team at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, and Kevin is a valued member of a very strong professional team at the Lexington County Detention Center,” Metts said. “Kevin wants to make sure that everything is done right and that everyone is treated fairly.”
Kevin M. Thompson, who serves as an enforcement and removal operations supervisor for ICE in Columbia, said Farley consistently exceeds expectations as a designated immigration officer at the county Detention Center.
“This award is a partnership award, and Kevin’s flawless work jumped out at us,” Thompson said. “Kevin keeps up with changes in the process and has been fantastic to work with. Kevin personifies the partnerships that we rely upon.”
Felicia S. Skinner, who serves as field office director for ICE enforcement and removal operations in Atlanta, Ga., said the award reflects the professionalism of Farley and other designated immigration officers who enforce federal immigration laws at the Detention Center.
“This has been such a valuable partnership for ICE. We are working together to keep communities safer,” Skinner said. “Sheriff Metts does a lot of outreach to the community and operates the 287(g) program at the county Detention Center very openly.”
In 2010, the Sheriff’s Department signed an agreement with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws at the Detention Center under ICE’s supervision, Metts said. ICE provided training for Farley and four other correctional officers who enforce immigration laws at the Detention Center as part of the Section 287(g) Immigration Authority Delegation Program. ICE pays the Sheriff’s Department to house inmates who are in ICE’s custody at the Detention Center.
“We are working to enhance the quality of life in our community through the 287(g) program by removing criminals who illegally entered the United States from a foreign country,” Metts said. “In addition, we are reducing the number of inmates who are housed at the Detention Center, which saves taxpayers money.”
Since January 2012, designated immigration officers at the Detention Center have interviewed 2,145 foreign-born detainees who were arrested for crimes in Lexington County, according to ICE. ICE placed detainers on 1,185 of the 2,145 foreign-born detainees, based on their immigration status as determined by designated immigration officers at the Detention Center.
Since January 2012, ICE placed detainers on 335 foreign-born detainees at the Detention Center who were convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, such as burglary, according to ICE. ICE placed detainers on 100 foreign-born detainees at the Detention Center who illegally re-entered the United States from a foreign country after previously being deported by ICE.
Farley and the four other specially trained correctional officers are authorized by ICE to check the immigration statuses of all inmates who are housed at the Detention Center, Metts said. Correctional officers detain inmates, pending further action by ICE, when the officers determine that the inmates also violated federal immigration law.