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Kershaw native serves Bishopville

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By The Staff

Bishopville recently appointed a Kershaw native as its new police chief.

Calvin Collins, the son of Kershaw resident Louella Collins Alexander, was sworn into office July 28 at the Coclough Building in Bishopville by city attorney Jacob Jennings. 

More than 50 family members and friends attended the ceremony.

“I’d like to thank God first and foremost, my family for sticking with me when they didn’t know if I’d be coming home at night, my fellow City of Bishopville employees, and the citizens of Bishopville. I am ready to get to work protecting this city and its people. I want to bring Bishopville to the next level,” Collins said after the swearing-in ceremony.

Collins, 40, was born and raised in Kershaw and attended Andrew Jackson High School. He joined the National Guard and was a member of the 351st Aviation Support Battalion of the S.C. Army National Guard. He served in Iraq from 2003-2005 as a non-commissioned officer. Collins is currently a sergeant first class with the National Guard and a member of the Lee County Fire Department Station 1.

Collins started his career in law enforcement in Kershaw in 1998, under the direction of police chief Emerson Coates. Collins was hired by Bishopville in 2000.

During his time with the Bishopville Police Department, Collins has held a wide variety of positions including patrol commander, investigator and, most recently, captain of command operations. Collins also attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Carolina Command College in March.

Collins has served as Bishopville’s interim police chief twice in the last year, first following the departure of Capt. Don Tarbell, and most recently when former police chief, Sonny Ledda, left in May. 

Collins was voted unanimously by members of the Bishopville City Council as the new full-time police chief during its meeting on July 16.