Former Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Chief Mike Adams talks about service

Orangeburg City Council honored recently retired Department of Public Safety Chief Mike Adams’ decades of service to the city on Tuesday.

“It has been my absolute pleasure to be a public safety officer for the last 35 years,” Adams said during Tuesday’s council meeting.

“I have watched our community change and grow and I would submit to you grow for the better,” he said. “To everything there is a season and my season has past. So what I charge you with is looking to the future. The future of Orangeburg is bright.”

“The Department of Public Safety plays a big picture in Orangeburg’s future,” Adams continued. “I want to thank Council for the support I have got over the years. I want to thank the constituents. I want to thank the citizens of Orangeburg for their steadfast support over the years.”

Council presented Adams with a framed resolution recognizing his service.

Adams was flanked by his wife, Delcie; daughters, Courtney and Megan; sister-in-law Mickey Whisenhunt and Megan’s fiancé, Kole Robinson. A number of ODPS officers were also in attendance.

A number of former city officials were in attendance at the retirement ceremony, including former ODPS Chief Wendell Davis, former Orangeburg Mayor Paul Miller and former City Administrator John Yow.

Adams thanked Davis for his support. Adams took over the department in February 2015, following Davis’ retirement.

“He and I had some pretty lengthy discussions when I became the director of public safety,” Adams said. “He told me something that I thought was humorous at the time: that one year as a chief is like dog years – you count it as seven.”

“I am here to tell you one year as a director takes seven years out of your life,” Adams said. “I have six years as director and when you count the time as the acting director, that is over seven years. It has been a tough job. We have done some incredible things and we have had some setbacks.”

Adams said one thing he would like individuals to celebrate is the department’s collaboration with Claflin University and the development of the certified, accredited DNA laboratory.

“I would submit to you no one else in the United States has any kind of collaborative effort as we do,” Adams said. “Let’s not forget where we came from because those of you who have been around here a long time know where we came from and think about where we are right now and then think about where we are going to be in the future.”

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“I thank you for your hospitality and I thank you for your good wishes,” Adams concluded. “God bless you and God bless the City of Orangeburg.”

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said, “We certainly are happy for all the services that he gave to the city of Orangeburg.

“You have come up through the ranks of public safety. We really appreciate him and his services. City Council really appreciates you. Thank you for all your services to the city.”

Butler also thanked Adams for the sacrifices he made to serve.

City Administrator Sidney Evering said, “Well done and thank you for your years of dedicated service to the City of Orangeburg and the citizens of Orangeburg.”

He also thanked the family members for their support and dedication throughout Adams’ law enforcement career.

Each city council member took a moment to publicly express their appreciation to Adams for his service to the city and wished him the best in his retirement.

Charles Austin, the former Columbia city manager and police chief, is serving as the interim chief of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety.

In other business:

• Council passed a resolution encouraging individuals to keep the city clean by placing trash in trash bin receptacles. The resolution was approved as part of the Orangeburg County 2021 fall cleanup effort for the month of October.

• Council gave third and final reading to an ordinance separating the position of city clerk and treasurer.

The separation of positions was recommended by Evering in an effort to improve customer efficiency.

Linda Robinson McDaniel will serve as clerk. Carrie Johnson will remain as city finance director.

• Butler provided council with an update on the employment evaluation process of the city’s municipal judge and Department of Public Utilities manager.

Butler said he has met individually with both individuals. Evaluation forms will be a part of the process and will be discussed in closed session at the next city council meeting.

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