Captain Francis Searson is a native Charlestonian who was raised in the West Ashley area. He attended Charleston County public schools and graduated from St. Andrews Parish High School in 1975. In 1977 the Charleston Police Department initiated a Police Cadet Program which gave youth interested in law enforcement an opportunity to serve at the Police Department. Thus, Capt. Searson began his law enforcement career as a Police Cadet with the Charleston Police Department in 1977. In 1979, he graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy earning the J.P. Strom Award as the top honor graduate in his basic training class.
He continued his education earning degrees from Trident Technical College, Southern Illinois University, and The Citadel College of Graduate Studies. Capt. Searson also attended the FBI National Academy graduating in Session 189 in 1997.
During the span of his career, Capt. Searson has received many professional and community service awards. He has served in numerous capacities within the Police Department including those in Patrol and Investigations. Captain Searson's previous commands include the:
- Commander of the Peninsula Patrol Division
- Forensic Services Unit
- Narcotics Unit
- Patrol Teams 2 and 4
- Traffic Division
His former ancillary duties include those as Commander of the Underwater Recovery and Hazardous Material Teams.
Presently, Captain Searson commands the Special Operations Division which includes full time
- Civil Disturbance
- Community Service
- Honor Guard
- Hostage Rescue
- School Safety (SRO's, School Safety Response)
- SWAT Explosive Device
- SWAT Quick Response, and several ancillary Units
- Underwater Recovery
- Unmanned Aerial Systems-DRONE
- Traffic Division (Motors, DUI, Enforcement/Investigation, Harbor Patrol, K-9, Transport)
He and his wife Karen are involved in many youth activities within the community and are raising four children.