While attending Sumter High School, Adrienne Sarvis didn’t know what career she wanted to pursue.
With a father serving our country in the U.S. Army at Ft. Jackson and her mother serving her community as an educator – at Sumter High School then Lakewood High School -- Sarvis thought briefly about being a teacher.
“I guess it’s the same thing as law enforcement – you’re just trying to help people,” she said.
That mindset serves her well as she is now Deputy Sarvis, the Public Information Officer for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Anthony Dennis said Sarvis has fit in nicely.
“We thought Adrienne would be a good fit to work here at the Sheriff’s Office and she has been doing a great job,” he said.
After graduating from Sumter High School, Sarvis planned on majoring in psychology at College of Charleston but soon found her life taking a different direction.
“I realized I could write pretty well … so I decided to major in communication,” she said. “I felt much better about it. I think that was the best decision.”
And she quickly parlayed her Bachelor of Arts degree into a career as a professional writer – with degree in hand on Dec. 13, 2014, she started working as a reporter at The Sumter Item on Jan. 1, 2015.
“I had to get started on making my life,” she said.
Her first focus on reporting was city and county government, with general assignment stories throw into the mix. She soon found herself on the public safety beat, covering all aspects of law enforcement as well as court cases.
“I learned everything about journalism and everything about writing very well,” she said. “The way they taught me to write is the way I continue to write now for the Sheriff’s Office.”
After honing her craft for four years and winning awards for her work as a newspaper reporter, she was recruited to take her talents to another level and disseminate information to the media and to the public. When she first started with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, she was in a civilian role, but one job assignment changed her mind.
Sarvis was out shooting photos and video with another Deputy who was conducting drug interdiction operations on Interstate 95, and she had to borrow a bulletproof vest.
“Because I didn’t have my own and at that moment I didn’t want to be a burden on anybody else. I didn’t want anyone to worry about what I was doing … so I decided to help them out if they needed it and I haven’t regretted it,” she said.
She decided to attend the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and become certified as a Class 1 Deputy after the basic 12-week program.
“It’s actually very fun,” she said. “It’s fast-paced – I just really enjoy it.”
As the Sheriff’s Office PIO, she is in charge of the social media accounts. She responds to questions received through those accounts and writes news releases, takes photographs and video and also creates posters and flyers.
Sheriff Dennis, she said, does media interviews himself, “because he wants to tell the community what’s going on.”
In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and embroidery – skills she learned from watching videos on YouTube – or just hanging out with her family and watching movies.
As for her job, she finds it to be consistently fun and interesting.
“I don’t really know how to explain it,” she said, laughing. “I just enjoy it.”
Sheriff Dennis said he was “pleasantly surprised” when she said she wanted to pursue her Class 1 certification.
“That’s something I will always support. She has been working hard to complete her duties as both public information officer and as a deputy,” he said.