Clemens tapped as WDPS interim chief

WINNSBORO – Veteran law enforcement officer Patrick Clemens has been named Interim Chief of the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety.


He said he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“Wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always tried to leave things better than I found them,” he said, “and I want to do that here in Winnsboro. This is the kind of work I like to do.”

Clemens came to work for the Department two years ago after serving as a patrol officer for four years at Edisto Beach and prior to that for four years at S. Congaree.

He spent 18 years with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy, and also served in law enforcement at both the Citadel and Newberry County.

Clemens is married and has a daughter at Clemson and a son who works in the computer field.

“I’m happy to be here, and I’m looking forward to growing the department,” Clemens said on Wednesday. “One of the things we’re working on is building the department back up – both the fire side of the department and the police side. We’re down three fulltime firefighters and five – soon to be six – police officers.”

Clemens said the crime scene in Winnsboro has settled down considerably in the last two years.

“That’s because our officers are on the street, patrolling neighborhoods, and enforcing traffic laws,” he said. “We’re driving the residential streets; we’re visible. We want to talk to the residents and get to know them.

“The officers I work with here have the same attitude,” Clemens said. “We’re old timers – I’ve been doing this for 30 years – and we want to make sure of our legacy. I want the Winnsboro Public Safety Department to be set up for success if or when I ever leave.”

Town Manager Jason Taylor said he wishes Clemens well as interim chief.

“I am confident that he will be a steady hand in guiding the public safety department through this current transition,” Taylor said.

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