Today is James Foster's birthday, so his coworkers at the Charleston County Sheriff's Office tricked him into thinking he'd be attending a training session.

Instead, they gathered Sheriff Al Cannon and Foster's friends and family and threw him a surprise party.

What makes him special? Foster, a master deputy within the patrol division, turned 80.

Foster patrols the West Ashley and James Island area and has been in law enforcement for more than 40 years and in Charleston County since 1986.

"He's a well respected professional in law enforcement and we consider him a legend within the patrol division," said Maj. Eric Watson.

Foster has no intention of slowing down either. When asked if he plans on retiring soon so he can rest, Foster replied: "I rest on my day off."

"I think work is what you would call a way of suppressing stress and reducing anxiety when you place your mind on something positive," he said.

Sheriff Al Cannon also named a squad room at their headquarters building after Foster.

In 2011, the Fraternal Order of Police awarded him the Award of Lifetime Achievement.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or