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      Sumter's top cop announces retirement

      Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson / SPD

      SUMTER (WACH) -- Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson says she will be retiring this fall.

      Patterson, who has headed up the city's police force for a decade, will take over the Public Safety and Welfare department in September.

      Patterson became the department's first female and African American police chief.

      "I am humbled to have the distinct opportunity to have served with such consummate professional peacekeepers, Patterson said. The men and women in blue of the Sumter Police Department team are indeed among the finest in all of law enforcement, and it has been a privilege and an honor to serve with them. I have been richly blessed to have spent so much of my career here. I am so proud of the SPD and their commitment to service above self.

      Chief Patterson has made a significant impact in the City of Sumter Police Department and the City of Sumter, City Manager Deron McCormick said. We have been fortunate to have someone in the position with such a high standard of integrity. Under her leadership, the department has been able to consistently ensure public safety for city residents.

      City officials say Deputy Chief Russell Roark will fill Patterson's shoes starting September 1.