Deputy County Administrator Eric Watson is a native son of Charleston. He was raised on the peninsula of Charleston, also known as Charleston’s eastside. He attended public schools in Charleston County and graduated from Burke High School.
Eric is a military veteran and has been employed by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for twenty-six years. His career in law enforcement started as a detention deputy at the Al Cannon Detention Center. He was sworn in
as a deputy sheriff in 1997. He worked as a patrol deputy and as a detective in the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. After working in Criminal Investigations for several years, Chief Watson was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He worked in a variety of specialized units as a supervisor. He worked as a patrol supervisor, court security supervisor, worked in the Office
Professional Standards supervised criminal investigations as a lieutenant and captain, he also served as the Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, before being promoted to one of the highest command positions within the Sheriff’s Office; the rank of Chief Deputy.
In January 2018, Chief Watson was appointed by Sheriff Cannon as Chief Deputy of operations. He managed the patrol division, traffic unit, criminal investigations division, metro narcotics unit, SWAT, Bomb Team, Marine Patrol, Training, Community Affairs, Recruitment, and Criminal Intelligence Unit or just a few of his responsibilities.
In February 2020, Chief Watson was appointed by Charleston County Government to establish and serve as Deputy County Administrator of Public Safety. He now manages Charleston County Emergency Management,
Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, consolidated 9-1-1 Dispatch Center, Awendaw-McClellanville Fire District, and he serves as law enforcement liaison for Charleston County Council.
Eric Watson holds an associate degree in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice
Administration, and is currently working on his master’s degree in Leadership and Executive Management from Walden University. He is a graduate of the FBI Command College and the FBI National Academy. He currently attending the Department of Homeland Security Naval Postgraduate Executive Leaders Program. Eric serves as a special guest lecturer at the FBI National Academy. He sits on Trident Technical Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Board of Directors for Carolina Youth Development Center, Miller-Motte Criminal Justice Advisory Board, and he serves as Vice President on Father 2 Father, Inc. Board of Directors.
Eric is a member of the Iota Eta Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, International Association of Chiefs of Police, S.C. FBI Association, FBI National Academy Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association and Police Executive Research Forum.
When people ask Deputy Administrator Watson for advice he says The best advice I can give a person is what my mother passed on to me “regardless of your struggles and successes, always remain humble and never use your circumstances in life as an excuse for failure”.