Woodward again announces candidacy for County Sheriff 

From staff reports 

Veteran county law enforcement officer Joey “JoJo” Woodward Jr. announced Saturday he is running for Sheriff of Beaufort County. 

Woodward made the announcement at the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center in front of a crowd of family, friends, and members of the law enforcement community. 

“I am standing here today as I did four years ago because I still believe there is a better way to be sheriff of Beaufort County,” Woodward said Saturday morning. “Currently, our sheriff’s office is experiencing historic manpower shortages, soaring costs, low morale and rising crime. A stronger, more focused sheriff can address these problems.” 

Under the current sheriff, more than 50 officers have quit, leaving the department with too few road deputies and a top-heavy administration, Woodward said. 

“Not only is that dangerous for the remaining officers, but it’s unsafe for Beaufort County residents and visitors,” he said. “The current sheriff can’t fill those positions because no one wants to work for him.” 

Woodward touts his recent experience as a Career Criminal Unit investigator with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to consistently work across jurisdictional lines. He took the job with 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone after resigning as a Captain in the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in 2018 to run against Sheriff P.J. Tanner. 

“Any cop worth their salt will tell you that criminals don’t abide by municipal or county lines,” he said. “Having those working relationships with law enforcement throughout the entire judicial circuit is a major plus and one I will continue to use as Beaufort County sheriff.”

Woodward also co-chairs the Lowcountry Human Trafficking Task Force. In January, Woodward, along with several other members of the law enforcement subcommittee, were recognized by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson for their work on a minor sex trafficking case. 

Woodward has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. He served as captain with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and oversaw the Southern Enforcement Branch. 

Woodward was born in Charleston and was raised in both Beaufort and Jasper counties. Woodward joined the Hilton Head Island Fire Department in 1984 and graduated from the South Carolina Fire Academy. 

In 1986, he began his law-enforcement career with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in 1987. 

In 1991, Woodward went to work for the Hardeeville Police Department as patrol and drug interdiction officer before returning to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in 1992. Woodward was temporarily assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency office in Beaufort from 2000- 2001. He returned to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in 2005, was promoted to lieutenant and served as commander for the Beaufort/Jasper Multi-Agency Drug Task Force. 

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