BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — The Town of Batesburg-Leesville is celebrating an employee who has served the community for over 40 years.

BJ Morris was born and raised in the Batesburg-Leesville community. Since 1979, she’s been working at the police department. She’s now the clerk of court.

“I started in the jail as a dispatcher jailer and when the clerk retired, I became full-time clerk of court,” said Morris.

While she does a lot of the court work, she’s also a part time victim’s advocate.

“I make sure the victims are notified of their court proceedings and any questions they might have. [I make sure they’re] treated fairly and with dignity and they can come and talk in confidence,” explained Morris.

She never thought she would stay at the department for four decades, but she doesn’t regret one second.

“I think it’s a blessing and I give all credit to God because I know He’s the one that credits me to be here and get me through all of this,” said Morris. “Faith has got a lot to do with your job too and you just do your job and keep going.”

Last week, Morris was recognized by town and officials and the community for her service.

One of the only people to work at the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department is Chief Wallace Oswald. He said her role as a victim’s advocate makes a huge difference for those hurting in the community.

“When we have someone with a major crime with victims in the middle of the night, she’s going to be out of bed and she’s going to be there,” said Oswald. “She don’t wait until the next day. She’s going to be there that night and helping the family as best she can.”

Oswald says Morris will do anything in her power to make sure someone is taking care of and that’s what makes her so special to the community.

“The people in our community are very fortunate to have someone like her,” explained Oswald. “We are very fortunate to have someone like her that will help the victims and help people help keep the community together.”

Morris could have gone anywhere in her forty years, but she said her coworkers and the work environment is what has kept her here.

“I love the community and getting to know everybody,” said Morris. “I worked for a good boss, Chief Oswald, and he’s supported me through things. My parents were elderly and sickly and he kind of let me work my schedule so I could take care of them until they passed.”

What Morris wants people to know is that anyone can help anybody and serve the community.

“You can work in your home town and you can help people and you want to always be a neighbor to your neighbor,” said Morris.

As for what’s next for Morris, she says she’s getting close to retirement but she’s not there yet. 

Chief Oswald laughs and says she says she’ll stick around as long as he’s working at the department. When Morris retires, she plans on doing more ministry work with her faith and continue to work part-time at the department.