Chief Chris Watts, Rock Hill Police Department
** additional photos will be posted to the SCDPS Facebook page
COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held induction ceremonies today -- both virtually and with limited guests -- to formally induct nine officers into the SC Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. The ceremony is typically held each year in May to remember those who lost their lives serving in the previous year in South Carolina but was delayed this year due to the pandemic.
SCDPS Acting Director Robert G. Woods, IV said that even though the ceremony was somewhat different this year than in past years due to COVID-19, it was important to stop and recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving the State of South Carolina.
“As a country, we owe so much of our sense of security and our freedom to the men and women just like these who dedicate their lives to the greater good,” Woods said. “Those of us in law enforcement honor these officers by re-committing ourselves to doing our jobs with integrity and determination to make our state a safer place for those we serve.”
The department held a 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremony to formally induct the recipients.
Private First Class Michael Shawn Latu of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was the only officer inducted today who lost his life serving in the 2019 calendar year. Each year, the Hall of Fame conducts research and finds historical recipients who were not honored previously. This year, there were eight historical participants dating as far back as 1870. The City of Charleston Police Department recognized the first African-American officer, Officer (Private) Thomas J. Martin, to die in the line of duty.
The following were inducted for the 2019 calendar year. To view the complete program, click here: https://scdps.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/communications/Induction%20Ceremony.pdf
Private First Class Michael Shawn Latu
Marion County Sheriff’s Office
December 17, 2019
Officer (Private) Thomas J. Martin
Charleston Police Department
July 22, 1870
Deputy Constable William G. Durant
Fort Mill Police Department
February 5, 1884
Special Deputy U.S. Marshal William Nathan “Buck” Turner
Western District of South Carolina - Walhalla, S.C.
November 29, 1895
Officer Robert Morrison McFadden
Rock Hill Police Department
November 3, 1933
Chief Solon B. Lewis
Nichols Police Department
October 3, 1949
Deputy Levis Thomas Sexton
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office
May 15, 1965
Patrolman Frank Henry Knapp
Walterboro Police Department
November 16, 1968
The ceremonies were virtually streamed on the Department’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. To be notified of future events, please subscribe to SCDPS YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSCDPS.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.