BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — A police chief with a long and storied history in the Midlands of South Carolina has decided to hang up his badge later this year.
Police Chief W. Wallace Oswald with the Batesburg-Leesville community will retire in June after 46 years of service there.
Chief Oswald was not only born and raised in Batesburg, he raised his family there and started his law enforcement career with the Batesburg Police Department in 1976. He became the chief of police for the agency in 1980 and was once again chosen to lead the consolidated Batesburg-Leesville Department in 1993.
“Words can’t express what Chief Oswald has brought to our community as police chief," Batesburg-Leesville Town Manager Ted Luckadoo said in a statement. "He is a wonderful chief and human being. While I am excited for him and his upcoming retirement, it’s also sad to see him go. He is leaving behind a great organization and his shoes will be hard to fill.”
But even with more than four decades as a local officer, many of those years as police chief, they were not his only contribution to the community, the state, and the country as a whole.
Oswald served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1974 and was also an FBI National Academy graduate in the late 80s. He's also served as a South Carolina Police Academy Firearms Instructor and been a member of the South Carolina National Guard. In the latter, he was honored with a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit award received for his time serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He also received the Order of the Silver Crescent from Gov. Mark Sanford, the Strom Thurmond Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement, a South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer's Association Lifetime Achievement Award and was named the Batesburg-Leesville Supervisor of the Year in 2019.
Chief Oswald said in Monday's prepared statement that he is "forever honored to have served his country, his state, and the people of his community."