His humble honor: Sumter County Sheriff's Office Capt. Chris Moore


Riding a wave of applause at The Sumter Item's annual Best of Sumter red carpet event on Tuesday, April 30, Sumter County Sheriff's Office Capt. Chris Moore was all smiles as he walked to receive the honor of Best Law Enforcement Officer. Surrounded by fellow winners, friends and family and stunned to be voted on, he couldn't help but give thanks to his humble beginnings and his love for the profession.

Journey to the badge

As a military child, Moore moved around the United States and lived in Germany for a few years before settling in Sumter after his father's retirement at Shaw Air Force Base. Growing up in Sumter, he knew a career as a police officer is where he would end up, and at 21 years old, he was hired by Sumter Police Department. After succeeding through the police academy and two years with the department, he ventured to the sheriff's office in 2004. At the time, Sheriff Tommy Mims created a CAT team. Assigned to assess issues in the communities, such as shootings, the team consisted of codes enforcement, animal control, traffic control, drug enforcement -- and now, Moore.

"It just so happened, my very first day of work, they were like, 'Hey, we're starting this today. We don't really have a place to put you. Would you be interested in doing it?'" Moore recalled. Without a second thought, he replied, "Of course, I'll do it."

Moore would be assigned to the CAT team until 2010, when he went back to patrol after a promotion to sergeant. He would move up the ranks, receiving his most recent promotion to captain in February this year.

Capt. Chris

As a captain, much of the job consists of administrative work on a set schedule of Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. But Moore isn't so keen on that.

"The only way for me to supervise those folks is to actually be out there with them," Moore explained. "As long as I can handle the administrative tasks, I can go out and do stuff in the field with the guys and work different hours."

Rather than get off at 6 p.m., he works well into the evening. On slow days in the office, he takes a short day to get his bearings to work a long night with his fellow deputies. Some of the officers on his shift are the same age as he was when he joined the force, and he has noticed some distinct differences such as taking sick days.

"Back when I started, it didn't matter those kinds of things. You came to work because you didn't want to leave your shift short. You didn't want to be the one they're like, 'Man, that guy's never here,'" he said. "I try to promote dedication to the job. Not saying you should come to work when you're extremely ill. But sometimes, you take the needs of the office over some of your personal stuff."

Moore also works as a firearms instructor, driving instructor, leads active-shooter training for civilians and officers through the SLED State Active Shooter Program as well as does community outreach and school talks on the dangers of social media and importance of cybersecurity.

A safer Sumter

Making and keeping Sumter safe is Moore's No.1 priority as captain. Since the beginning, he has considered himself "a big traffic enforcement guy," explaining that "people die all the time in traffic-related fatalities or collisions."

His second reason is the stigma surrounding the blue lights and badge. People often are wary of the blue lights and badge, especially at night, Moore said. Whether he's doing property checks or stopping a car for traffic violations on a stretch of highway, Moore's true desire is to connect with and educate the community.

"If you're out doing proactive police work, then you prevent a lot of things from happening," Moore reasoned.

Except being recognized for his hard work -- that was bound to happen.

Best Law Enforcement Officer

Moore was stunned to learn he won Best Law Enforcement Officer for the 2024 Best Of Sumter readers' choice contest. The sheriff's office, on the other hand, wasn't.

"Capt. Moore was at a meeting probably until around 7:30 p.m.; it's not unusual to have meetings after hours. After that, he was talking with people, offering advice and counseling law enforcement. He's trying to get home, but then I hear him on the radio taking a call somewhere. This is the type of person he is," expressed Mark Bordeaux, public information officer with the sheriff's office. "When you consider, if you got to know the caliber of men and women that Capt. Moore and I work with, then you know the honor it is that Capt. Moore is receiving this recognition."

Moore, his smile stretching from ear to ear, was flattered by the sentiment as well as humbled by the support shown to him throughout his tenure.

On that evening, as he walked to receive his award, that same smile was displayed before Sumter as he was thankful for their votes and happy they could finally put a face with the name.