Bamberg, South Carolina (December 2019) – On December 30, 2019, in a special-called council meeting, Bamberg County Council passed a resolution honoring Bamberg County Sheriff, Ed Darnell. Sheriff Darnell is the longest-serving sheriff in South Carolina and third longest serving sheriff in the United States. Elected as Bamberg County Sheriff in 1978, Darnell has served the county continuously in the same role for over 40 years.
Bamberg County Council unanimously approved a resolution to honor Sheriff Darnell for his dedicated service, contributions, and achievement to Bamberg County. Additionally, the resolution approves the naming of the new Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office headquarters as the Ed Darnell Law Enforcement Center. The Ed Darnell Law Enforcement Center is currently under construction at the site of the former Bamberg County Hospital. The new facility will provide improved office space for Sheriff Department employees and deputies. Revenue from the Capital Project Sales Tax is the funding source for the new Ed Darnell Law Enforcement Center; the tax was passed by Bamberg County voters via referendum in 2018.
“Sheriff Darnell has been an integral figure in Bamberg County law enforcement for as long as I can remember,” remarked Trent Kinard, Bamberg County Council Chairman. “It is only fitting that the new headquarters are named after the longest-serving sheriff in the state. Ed Darnell has exhibited outstanding commitment to law enforcement in Bamberg County. I am proud to pass this resolution as Chairman of Bamberg County Council and to formally recognize Sheriff Darnell for his valuable service to our county.”
Former South Carolina Governor James Edwards appointed Ed Darnell as Bamberg County Sheriff in 1978 and Darnell has served the county in the same capacity for over 41 years. Darnell graduated from Denmark High School in 1954 and joined the Denmark Police Department in 1972. In 1973, he graduated from the SC Criminal Justice Academy and served the City of Denmark as a police officer until former Governor Edwards appointed him Bamberg County Sheriff. In 2012, former Governor Nikki Haley appointed Sheriff Darnell to the Training Council of the SC Criminal Justice Academy. Darnell has received numerous awards and recognitions during his time as Bamberg County Sheriff, including Sheriff of the Year in 2001. In November 2019, Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce recognized Sheriff Darnell with the Bamberg County Citizen of the Year award. Additionally, Sheriff Darnell served in the SC National Guard for 31 years and obtained the rank of platoon sergeant.
“Bamberg County is fortunate to have Sheriff Darnell serving and protecting its citizens,” said Joey Preston, Bamberg County Administrator. “He has continued to ensure that Bamberg County is a safe place to raise a family and conduct business. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Sheriff Darnell with the Ed Darnell Law Enforcement Center. Sheriff Darnell’s legacy to Bamberg County will endure.”
Bamberg County Council recognized Sheriff Darnell at the special-called council meeting on December 30, 2019 in front of his family, friends, colleagues, and law enforcement and legal community. During the ceremony, Sheriff Darnell’s son, Tommy Darnell, shared the following remarks about his father, "In my opinion, becoming a public servant is more than just a job, it's a CALLING and I truly believe that our Daddy answered that CALLING in 1972 when he began his law enforcement career with the Denmark Police Department and continuing his public service for nearly 42 years as the Bamberg County Sheriff."
Sheriff Darnell’s official portrait was unveiled at the meeting. The portrait will be placed in a location of honor and prominence in the new Ed Darnell Law Enforcement Center.