Michael E. Hunt, Sr., became the 18th Sheriff of Aiken County in May 2003 during a special election. A year later, he ran unopposed to win his first full term, an accomplishment not seen in Aiken County in more than 40 years.
His law enforcement career spans more than two decades. Prior to joining ACSO, Sheriff Hunt headed up the Special Services Bureau as a Lieutenant with the Aiken Department of Public Safety where he received The Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement in 2001.
Encouraged by his father and others to dedicate his life to serving the community, Sheriff Hunt began his public safety career as a firefighter in Richmond County, Georgia. He then became a corrections officer at the Aiken County Detention Center, a public safety officer with the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, and in 1985, joined the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Since taking office, Sheriff Hunt restructured the agency. More deputies on the street has resulted in a drastically improved response to citizens calls for service. Sheriff Hunt most recently demonstrated his “hands-on” management style during the January 2005 train derailment and chemical spill in Graniteville, South Carolina. Governor Mark Sanford recognized the extraordinary leadership and awarded Sheriff Hunt the state's highest honor, The Order of the Silver Crescent. In 2006 he was voted South Carolina’s Sheriff of the Year by the members of the South Carolina’s Sheriff’s Association.
A 1979 graduate of Langley-Bath-Clearwater High School and a 1983 graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Sheriff Hunt is married to the former Tonya WiIlhite. The couple has an 18-year-old son and lives in Graniteville.