LETTER TO THE EDITOR: LOCAL Life asked P.J. Tanner to share his thoughts on what it means to be local. Tanner is a lifelong resident of Beaufort County and has served as sheriff of the county since 1999. LOCAL Life welcomes letters to the editor and comments on our website. Write to [email protected].
BY P.J. Tanner
South Carolina’s Lowcountry is by far the most beautiful place along our Atlantic Coast — and perhaps the most beautiful place on earth.
I am truly blessed to have spent my lifetime in Beaufort County, a place that most call a destination.
My family, friends and I have always enjoyed and respected this place we call home. We have so many happy memories of spending time outdoors, fishing together, shrimping and hunting throughout the Lowcountry.
As a young man growing up in Bluffton — long before our current county’s growth — my days consisted of working on Ulmer Brothers Farm or at Moss Creek Plantation. That hard work during those farming days developed my admiration for the land and left me with proud memories of a noble profession that has sadly faded from the landscape of our community.
Some of my best days as a young man were spent with my uncle, who was a game warden with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. He introduced me to the noble and rewarding profession of law enforcement.
It was in those early years that the lure of law enforcement as a calling and a career began.
In 1981, I began my professional career in law enforcement. Since 1999, I have had the honor and privilege of serving as your Beaufort County Sheriff. Today, as a man with over 40 years in public service, I still have the same desire for the continued success and adventure of this local life.
Our pristine farmland is now predominantly replaced by driveways, rooftops and planned communities, presenting new opportunities to serve. While my love for the outdoors is still just as strong today, it usually must be scheduled around competing professional commitments. However, if the calendar is clear, the weather is good, the tide is low, and there is very little wind, then look out, fish.
Another popular Lowcountry pastime I enjoy is golf. It has become a standing Sunday afternoon appointment for relaxation, solace and perhaps a little competition with a group of guys at my old farm, which is now the Old South golf course.
My wife, Angie, and I love our local life. We are both very busy in our professions but still manage to enjoy all of what makes my home county great.