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Long-serving small-town South Carolina sheriff retires

January 3, 2021 GMT

BAMBERG, S.C. (AP) — One of South Carolina’s longest-serving sheriffs is officially retiring Monday.

Ed Darnell spent 42 of his 48 years in law enforcement leading the Bamberg County sheriff’s office.

Darnell, 84, only had to fire a gun once during his long tenure, a warning shot fired into the air, WIS-TV reports.

Darnell told the station that he’s aged out of the role, citing changes like the use of computers. He declined to run for re-election in 2020.

The outgoing sheriff says he maintained peace by using his personal relationships with the community, connections that he’ll miss in retirement.


With a growing number of sheriffs across the state in legal trouble themselves over the last decade, Darnell says he’s proud that he’s not one of them.

Darnell, whose formal education ended in high school, adds that street smarts and humility helped him throughout his career.

“You can have all the degrees you want and all the paperwork you want, but if you don’t have common sense, you are not gonna make it,” Darnell said.