ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Former Orangeburg Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Chief Mike Adams has passed away at the age of 59.
According to his obituary, Adams passed away unexpectedly on September 8, 2023, at MUSC-Orangeburg.
Chief Adams worked for ODPS for 35 years. He was the Director of Public Safety for six years prior to his retirement in September 2021.
"Chief Adams was a dedicated professional. He left a legacy of service in the field of public safety that had a major impact on ensuring that the ODPS provided the highest level of police and fire services for our city," said current ODPS Chief Charles Austin. "We will surely miss him."
Adams began his career in 1986 as a patrol officer in the City of Orangeburg. Three years later, he was promoted to the rank of detective in the Investigation Unit. In 1991, Adams was transferred to the Narcotics Unit, where he was promoted to the rank of detective sergeant two years later.
In 1994, Adams was promoted to the rank of detective lieutenant. Five years later, Adams was promoted to the captain of detectives in the Investigation Unit. Adams worked in that capacity until 2012, when he became commander of the Uniform Patrol Division. In 2015, Adams was hired as ODPS director. Adams retired in September 2021.
Adams, born in Philadelphia, attended Holly Hill High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina. He was chosen to attend the FBI National Academy as a member of their 237th session.
As the 100th president of the Rotary Club of Orangeburg, he was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award and exemplified their motto of service above self, according to his obituary.
“Chief Adams dedicated many years of service to law enforcement and to serving the citizens of Orangeburg. His positive contributions to our community and the impact he had on so many lives will not soon be forgotten," City Administrator Sidney Evering said. "Please also take a moment during each day to hug and appreciate your family, friends, and loved ones - life is precious and the time we have is a valued treasure.”
According to his obituary, Adams will be remembered for his sense of duty, honor, courage, and commitment. He leaves behind his wife of 27 years, Delcie Adams, and three children. A private celebration of life event will be held at a later date.