Search Our Website:

    OUR FRONT LINE: No slowing down for this septuagenarian

    June 26 2020_0009

    Dorothy Harrold is 70-years-old and not the least bit afraid to tell you so.

    “I’m blessed to be able to do what I do at this age,” she said. “I feel pretty good about it.”

    A Class 3 Deputy with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, she has worn many hats throughout her life, but manages to motivate herself with new challenges as plenty of folks her age are shifting into lower gears.

    “I was just a motivated worker and I wasn’t afraid to challenge anything. When I was younger, before I started working, I was afraid of everything,” she admits. “But once I started, I never quit.”

    Harrold grew up in Kane, Pennsylvania, “a beautiful little town” in the Allegheny Mountains, she said.

    “I married shortly after I graduated (high school), had four children, moved to Erie, Pennsylvania when they were smaller – was a housewife until my last child was about two years old,” she said. “Then I went to work because I became a single parent of four.”

    She worked two jobs in the food and beverage industry, waiting tables in an upscale restaurant from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., then managing her sister’s bar and restaurant from early afternoon until close.

    Her strong work ethic did not go unnoticed and a beer distributor recruited her to work first in sales, then human resources and then data entry.

    At this point in her life, she found herself in caretaker mode for her mother Katherine who became ill after Dorothy’s stepfather Bill passed away.

    Her sister Darlene talked her into attending school to become an Emergency Medical Technician, reasoning that it would help greatly in caring for their ailing mother.

    “I always wanted to be a nurse but never got the chance to go to school because I was busy raising kids,” she said. “We both went to EMT school and I fell in love with it and she didn’t, so I continued it.”

    In her late 40s at this point, she was soon invited to join the local Fire Department and joined the Brookside Fire Department to train alongside firefighters, ably performing whatever rigorous physical feats were required.

    “I never have felt old in my life. My body tells me I’m old but I don’t feel old,” she said. “My daughter (Carol) said: ‘Mom are you ever gonna grow up?’ And I said, ‘I hope not.’”

    Aspiring to learn new things and overcome new challenges keeps her sharp, she said, and focused.

    “Instead of sitting on the front porch drinking sweet tea and giving in to life, you know? I think that it keeps you younger, gives you a reason to get out of bed every day,” she said.

    Her next job as a first responder was behind the scenes, working dispatch, which was “very nerve wracking but great,” she said.

    A move south about 20 years ago soon found her working as an EMT but for a private transport company until she had to quit to once again take of her mother.

    She was able to balance a part-time job with the Department of Agriculture inspecting the peanut crop with being a caretaker. When her mother passed away, she decided to pay more attention to herself.

    “I got back into working out,” she said. “I used to be an avid runner and weightlifter for many years.”

    It wasn’t long before she decided to enter a bodybuilding show at the Sumter Opera House, at age 67.

    “Then when I turned 68,” I became a Deputy, she said matter-of-factly.

    She befriended several Deputies who work out at the YMCA of Sumter and got to be good friends with Sgt. Lenell Allen.

    “And one day he said to me, ‘D, go apply at the Sheriff’s Office for a Class 3 – you can work at the Courthouse, there’s two guys retiring,’” she said.

    “I said, ‘I’m too old,’ and he said, ‘No you’re not,’” she recalled.

    She was physically able to complete what was required and after a stint at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, she was onto the next phase of her life.

    “I passed everything so they hired me,” she said.

    Sheriff Anthony Dennis said Deputy Harrold always provides service with a smile.

    “She has a great passion for what she does and has great compassion for the people she meets,” he said. “Deputy Harrold is a perfect fit in the Citizens Assistance Unit because of her personality and how hard she works to assist people in resolving their problems.”

    Harrold said she takes pride in her job each and every day.

    “And I have a big heart, so I try to be patient with people,” she said. “In order to help them you’ve got to understand them.”

    June 26 2020_0003

     Sumter County Sheriff's Office logo on black




    Softball registration begins Aug. 3, 2020

    Baseball registration begins Aug. 3, 2020

    Sumter County Council's July 28, 2020, meeting

    Sumter County Council held their Tuesday meeting at Patriot Hall as members of the public attended wearing masks and with social distancing measures in place.

    City-County Zoning Administrator and Acting Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke about several requests before Council.

    She detailed a request to rezone a 2.71 acre tract at 6850 Fish Road from Agricultural Conservation (AC) to General Commercial (GC).

    Three people spoke against the request.

    Greg Goocher, the developer behind the request, spoke for it, as did three others.

    Louis Watkins spoke about the need for stores in rural areas, but didn’t speak specifically for or against the request.

    Second reading was denied.

    Roodman spoke about a request to rezone a 143.86 acre parcel at 2035 U.S. 521 South from AC to Heavy Industrial (HI).

    No one spoke during the Public Hearing. Second reading passed.

    Roodman spoke next about a request to rezone a five acre tract at 2205 Myrtle Beach Highway from AC to GC. No one speak during a Public Hearing. Second reading passed.

    Roodman spoke next about an ordinance amendment request to include Fabricated Metal Products as a Special Exception Use in the AC Zoning District.

    County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. specified that Council would be listening to a request for a Special Exception Use, which would then have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals. Roodman agreed.

    Several people spoke against the request, citing noise issues from Merchant Iron Works, the business seeking the Special Exception Use.

    Several people spoke for the request, and David Merchant cited various noise attenuation measures employed to lessen the decibel impact.

    Second reading for the Special Exception passed, with Councilman Chris Sumpter and Vice Chairman Jimmy Byrd voting nay.

    Sumter County Attorney Johnathan Bryan spoke next about a resolution urging face coverings and masks to be worn in the public in unincorporated areas of Sumter County during the Covid-19 crisis.

    The resolution passed, with Councilman Eugene Baten voting against it.

    Bryan also spoke about a referendum to be placed on the ballot in November to give Sumter County voters the opportunity to decided whether grocery stores and convenience stores would be able to sell beer and wine on Sunday.

    Third reading passed. Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney voted against it.

    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon reiterated that the Offices of County Government remain closed to the public and noted a free Covid-19 testing site will be set up from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday in Lynchburg at St. John’s School. (4515 Narrow Paved Road.)

    Sheriff Dennis, Officer Behuniak recognized by Sumter County Council

    July 29 2020 Sheriff Dennis recognized by Sumter County Council 1

    Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis was recognized Tuesday evening during Sumter County Council’s meeting at Patriot Hall for being named South Carolina Sheriff of the Year by the S.C. Sheriff’s Association.

    Detention Officer William Behuniak was also recognized for being named S.C. Detention Officer of the Year by the S.C. Sheriff’s Association.

    “On behalf of Sumter County Council and the citizens of Sumter County, we want to congratulate you and present you with this small token of our appreciation,” Sumter County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. said to Sheriff Dennis.

    Behuniak was also given a gift for his recognition.

    July 29 2020 William Behuniak recognized by Sumter County Council 1

    Fall soccer registration begins Aug. 3, 2020

    Sumter County's Youth Fall Soccer program will see registration get underway on Aug. 3, 2020.
    You can register online here:
    Or call 803-436-2248

    July 28 2020 Fall Soccer Dates

    Offices of Sumter County Government remain closed until further notice

    The offices of Sumter County Government remain closed to the public until further notice.

    Appointments to visit Family Court for filings and payments can be made by calling 803-436-2366. A temperature screening protocol remains in place for the Sumter County Judicial Center. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart from others.

    July 6 2020 County Government department numbers


    Expect traffic slowdowns at Wilson Hall and Carter Road intersection

    May 26 2020 Carter Rd and Wilson Halll intersection Penny for Progress 1

    The Penny for Progress project to improve the intersection of Wilson Hall Road and Carter Road officially got underway today as the Notice to Proceed was given from Sumter County Government.

    This project is scheduled to be completed within 365 days and the purpose is to improve traffic flow while making it safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.

    Improvements will include new turn lanes, installation of mast arms and signalization, along with drainage improvements and designated crosswalks.

    Utilities are currently being relocated and will cause traffic slowdowns, so please be patient as we work to improve this intersection.

    May 26 2020 Carter Rd and Wilson Halll intersection Penny for Progress 2

    Pay taxes or fines via dropboxes at Magnolia Place and Summary Court

    Summary Court Dropbox PSA

    Magnolia Place PSA

    August  2020 edition of Gamecock County Gazette now available

    An online newsletter from Sumter County Government is now available for free.
    Each month the Gamecock County Gazette will be delivered via e-mail, and for those who wish to receive a digital copy please send your e-mail address to jperry@sumtercountysc.org and our communications coordinator will add you to the list.

    To see the newsletter, click here

    August 2020 Gamecock County Gazette