Carraway’s legacy still motivates his hometown of Darlington
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
Despite his absence, police Sgt. Terrence Carraway has achieved a major presence in Darlington since he was killed on duty Oct. 3, 2018.
• He will be the centerpiece of a memorial to all of South Carolina’s slain law-enforcement officers.
• A Darlington park has been renamed for him.
• A nonprofit foundation built by his widow, Allison, has launched a number of projects and plans to launch more.
• The Florence Police Department and the foundation annually award scholarships to local students in his name. (Carraway was a Darlington resident but worked for the FPD.)
• Runners flock to the annual Terrence Carraway Memorial 5K held yearly at the Darlington Raceway.
• Efforts to have a stretch of Hoffmeyer Road – the last road he traveled on – named for Carraway are still in the works.
None of this happened by chance. It happened because of the efforts of Allison Carraway and the Carraway family’s friends and allies throughout the area. We sat down with Allison Carraway to talk about how her late husband’s legacy has grown strong in the few years since his death in an ambush attack on several law-enforcement officers that shocked the state and nation.
Q. How do you feel about Terrence’s legacy … and how it has impacted the community?
A. I think of Terrence as a very important person. … There was no way that I could not continue his legacy. During his life, he had done so many things that went unnoticed. And after his senseless death, I was compelled, motivated. My passion is to continue to let everyone know his purpose – what he loved to do – and continue working on things he loved to do.
Q. Did you make a decision right at the beginning to work to establish a kind of legacy for him that would involve other parts of the community?
A. Yes, I did. The day he passed away. … Somehow, I received clarity as to what I had to do. … It happened. Not knowing the where or the how. … He deserved that. He deserved it. I felt empowered. … I started my journey of learning. And I am still learning. I do have ups and downs.
Q. What was the first step that you took? Was that forming the (Terrence F. Carraway) Foundation?
A. Forming the Foundation. And going through the business-license procedure to become a nonprofit organization. That was the first step. That happened in November 2018, when we started the process as a family. … It took a while, because we didn’t know about how to go about doing the licensing. … Finally, we got it official in May 2019.
(Getting nonprofit status) enabled me to continue the work that he did. … His service was what he lived for. Whether it was a child needing help with homework, or (needing) shoes, or a suit or a tie, or how to tie a tie … he was there to administer that type of service. That was in his blood.
To serve and protect was his life. He lived that, on and off the job. We started with the youth, because that was one of his passions – working with the youth, athletically as well as academically. …
Q. When you look at it all collectively, are you surprised that his legacy was able to kind of branch out to the extent that it has and involve so many people in so many ways?
A. He was a good guy. He impacted a lot of people in a lot of places. For it to branch out, I’m not surprised, with his legacy alone, the things he’s accomplished, that it would soar.
I’m surprised that I’m still able to keep myself together and do this for him. … I have a purpose. I know what needs to be done, and I will do what I need to do, I will learn what I need to learn, in order to continue his legacy. That stands alone by itself. It shines on its own. I’m simply a spokesperson, an advocator for him, because he’s not able to do this himself. … I want his light to shine.
… I do value the stories that I continue to get from strangers. Or an e-mail, or something in Messenger – “You don’t know me, but your husband helped me out.” Those small stories of the things that he did, he never mentioned to me. “He helped my family. My son was in trouble and he came and talked to him, and he checked on him every so often.”
I go through some of his papers – he kept everything — and I see that he was a DARE officer, and his students had to write him a letter when he visited (schools). One of the letters was, “I hope to become a police officer one day.” That letter was from one of his officers. That young man, Cobie, became a police officer. … Cobie was now one of his officers. I showed Cobie the letter, and he said, “I can’t believe he kept that letter.”
The impacts that he made, those footprints – I see them. …. Those are the things that really warms my heart.