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Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement

"SVU Officer Honored"

The Pickens Sentinel

November 16, 2016

In early November, The Pickens Sentinel reported that Lt. Rita Burgess of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office received the Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement. This recognition is named in honor of Nexsen Pruet member (partner) Billy Wilkins who was 13th Circuit Solicitor before being appointed as a Federal Judge by President Ronald Reagan.

Lt. Burgess was commended for her dedication throughout the investigation and prosecution of cases in the Special Victims Unit, specifically cases involving allegations of child abuse.

An excerpt:

“Lt. Burgess has shown a commitment to taking a hands on approach to the prosecution of her cases,” said Chief Deputy Creed Hashe in a released statement. “She regularly meets with the Solicitor’s Office during each stage of the process. Her cases are fully investigated and she is always prepared when testifying in court. 

“Due to the diligent and dedicated work that Lieutenant Burgess puts into cases, many of the most horrific crimes in Pickens County result in a conviction,” he added.

Read the full article from The Pickens Sentinel.


William W. “Billy” Wilkins is former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and former Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. He began public service in 1974, when he was elected Solicitor (district attorney) for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in South Carolina. From there, president Ronald Regan appointed him to the 4th Circuit.

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