Police Chief James Hudson accepts new position
Police Chief James Hudson has accepted a leadership position with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, and Jerry Thompson, Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office, has accepted the position of Acting Police Chief following Hudson’s departure.
Hudson has served the City of Hartsville for three and a half years, a time characterized by energetic community outreach efforts by the Police Department. Under his leadership, the department has started the STAND Program, a partnership between the department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina to fight local drug market issues by cooperating closely with residents, as well as Hartsville’s annual Youth Summit, in which a partnership of organizations help young people understand the challenges they face and develop projects to address these issues.
Jerry Thompson, who has served as Interim Chief prior to Chief Hudson’s arrival, will serve the department again as its interim leader. Thompson began his career in law enforcement with the S.C. Highway Patrol and has also served in the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, as well as on the security detail for Governor David Beasley. He has been with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office since 2008.
City Manager Natalie Zeigler praised Hudson’s strong commitment to building bridges throughout the Hartsville community during his tenure.
“Many Hartsville residents, officers and members of City staff greatly appreciate what Chief Hudson has done to build a Police Department which is stronger today than it was when he first arrived,” she said. “We are thankful that he will remain involved and active in some of the projects he has helped establish, including the STAND Program and the Youth Summit. We’re also looking forward to the leadership which we know Jerry Thompson will bring as Acting Chief, after years of working with him in his position with the Sheriff’s Office.”
“Chief Hudson was brought in because of his strong work ethic and his willingness to lead by example,” Mayor Mel Pennington said. “We were disheartened to learn that Chief had accepted this offer, but we are certainly proud of his decision to take a new leadership role in our county. Chief Hudson is a good man – he led our department in a bold new direction, and I will certainly miss him.”