The Richland County Sheriff's Department has a new chief deputy.
Wash James, a 17-year department veteran, was promoted to chief of the sheriff's department uniform division, Sheriff Leon Lott announced Wednesday morning. In that position, he will be responsible for the department's 605 uniformed officers.
James, 60, previously had been a captain in the uniform division where he was the top assistant to Randy Scott, recently hired to be the interim chief at Columbia Police Department.
Lott also announced the hiring of a top administrator from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division.
Stephen Birnie will serve as the sheriff's department's deputy chief for administration. His primary responsibility will be managing the department's $31 million annual budget. He will represent the sheriff's department before Richland County Council and work closely with the county administrator, Lott said.