Mar. 28, 2017

Sheriff Lane Cribb

Sheriff of Georgetown

 

While sitting in the lobby of the sheriff’s department, I looked around at the remodeling that had been done. Later, as I was walking down the hall to his office I mentioned to his secretary that this was the old Bynum Center. It’s where I went to night school in order to graduate and go on to college. I was amazed at how much it has changed.

I was at the sheriff’s office to interview Sheriff Lane Cribb for my blog. Needless to say, I did not leave disappointed. Our 68-year-old sheriff is married to a child counselor for a youth advocacy program. They’ve been married since 1992 and, together, have a seven-year-old son.

“What do you want to know?” Sheriff Cribb asked after our introductions.

“I want to know about you, Lane Cribb, or Sheriff Cribb. It’s up to you what you want to talk about,” I explained.

We talked about several things like, mutual acquaintances, a little bit about law enforcement and a little about his “pre-law enforcement days.” I found him to be very approachable and laid back. Sheriff Cribb is pretty easy going for someone in a political seat. Suffice to say; being a country boy, if you met him on the street, you’d probably never guess he’s involved with the law, let alone a sheriff.

“I was a race car driver before going into law enforcement,” he offered about his past.

“Really?” I said. I wasn’t expecting that. Not many people start out to be race car drivers and end up a police officer or sheriff‘s deputy. “What kind of car did you drive? Were they funny cars, drag, NASCAR?”

“NASCAR,” he answered with a laugh. “I drove on the short tracks though, like up in Myrtle Beach. I’ve never driven on a track that was paved.”

“How does one get from NASCAR driving to being a sheriff?”

Sheriff Crib shrugged and said, “I was in law enforcement for a while before becoming a sheriff. I worked with the Alcohol Unit of SLED at one point and when I came back to Georgetown to settle, I came back as a deputy. Later, I ran for office and was elected.”

I jotted some notes and then asked, “I’ve been hearing rumors for over ten years now that you’re going to wait until half your term is over and then appoint Carter Weaver, the Assistant Sheriff, to your seat. How true are those rumors?”

“Not likely,” he answered. “Besides it’s not up to me who takes my seat.”

“Well, I know you‘re an elected official,” I agreed, “But I’ve heard that if you’ve served over 50% of your term, you can appoint someone to take over for the rest of your time if you resign.”

“I can suggest someone, but it’s up to Governor Haley to make the appointment. And no, I am not planning on resigning anytime soon,” he confirmed chuckling. “I have a small son at home. I can’t resign now.”

We spoke of earlier times, the 50’s and 60’s, when the “back-door” policies were popular. It used to be if your family was friends with the sheriff some things were kept off the books, as it were. “That was back when Woodrow Carter was the sheriff and then later, his son, Michael.

“Yes, I remember those days,” he agreed.

Since I mentioned the Carter‘s, I brought up another rumor that’s floated around Georgetown ever since Sheriff Cribb was first elected, thereby taking the sheriff’s position from the Carter Family. “I’ve heard that you are related to the Carter family so the family really hasn’t left office?”

Sheriff Cribb shook his head. “No, I’m not related to them but I think I know how that rumor got started.”

“Can you share?”

“Sure,” he answers with a nod. “My Uncle Garris Cribb was the sheriff until he passed away in January of 1963. At which time, Woodrow Carter took over the office in February of the same year. When Woodrow left, he helped to get his son Michael appointed by the governor to finish his term out. Some years later, I ran against Michael and won.”

Now I understood where those rumors were coming from with Lane Cribb being related to Garris Cribb and the Carters in between them. “Another thing too,” the sheriff added, “My assistant sheriff, Carter Weaver, is related to Woodrow and Michael Carter. He’s Woodrow’s grandson.”

As we were wrapping things up, I asked as I do all those I interview, if he could share a funny story about something in his life or career. “Anything that struck you as humorous at some point in your life,” I clarified.

With a twinkle in his eye and laughing more to himself than anyone else, he says, “When I worked in another county as a state officer, we had an incident where two ladies were stopped by an officer. The officer claimed they were speeding and gave the driver a $20 ticket which she paid for right there on the spot. He gave her a receipt from one of those restaurant order books.

“Afterwards he went to the passenger side and asked the rider for her driver’s license, too. The lady told him, ‘But I wasn’t driving.’ The officer replied, ‘Ma’am, you were going just as fast as she was.’ He was right,” Sheriff Crib said with a laugh. “She was going as fast as the driver. Of course, he was obviously a mental patient pretending to be an officer.”

That was a pretty good story.

I admit going in, I was a little apprehensive. However, as I mentioned earlier, Sheriff Cribb was very easy to talk to and immediately put me at ease. It was truly a pleasure talking with him. Thank you Sheriff and I wish you many more years in office.