Kelvin Washington named Chief of Police for City of Darlington


The City of Darlington has named its next police chief: Kelvin C. Washington of Hemingway. He will take office in late March or early April once his term as U.S. Marshal expires.

“Mr. Washington was the most qualified applicant, and he brings credibility and stability to that office. I feel he’s the right person at the right time for the City of Darlington,” City Manager Howard Garland said.

Washington has more than 28 years of public safety leadership and administrative management. He is the current presidentially appointed U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina, serves as the chief federal law enforcement officer in the federal district court, and manages a $35+ million budget and a team of 170 staff.

“I’m very thankful to Mayor Hines, City Council, and the city manager for selecting me to be the new police chief. I’m very humbled by the reception I have received thus far from the brave men and women of the police department and the residents of the City of Darlington,” Washington said. “I look forward to working closely with the police officers, residents, and city leadership as we move the City of Darlington forward.”

Prior to his federal appointment, he served as sheriff of Williamsburg County for 12 years. Washington holds an active Top Secret Security Clearance, Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Troy University of Troy, Ala., and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from American Intercontinental University of Chicago, Ill. He is a member of the National Sheriff’s Association, Palmetto State Law Enforcement Officers’ Association and former president of the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association.

“Mr. Washington is well qualified for the position, well rounded in all areas that one would require of a police chief, one that stands out is transparency which is needed for Darlington to grow,” Mayor Gloria Hines said. “We are looking forward to working with him, knowing he will be great for all.”

Garland made the final choice but accepted input from council and the community.

Area residents and council met the candidates in two public interviews Jan. 30-31 at City Hall with the courtroom full of residents interested to ask questions. The four finalists were Washington, James Hudson of Hartsville, Kimberly Nelson of Hartsville, and Julius Riley of Cheraw.

The position became open thanks to the recent retirement of Daniel L. Watson, who served in that post since 2011 after the death of Jay Cox. Darlington’s Captain James C. Davis has served as interim chief since January 8.

Author: mrollins

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