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EDITORIAL: Orangeburg celebrates police service

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While police are not being honored and celebrated in some places, it's really good to know Orangeburg is not one of them.

The city recently honored Mike Adams, the director of the Department of Public Safety for more than six years and a DPS officer for 35.

Current and past city officials were in attendance, along with DPS officers, for the ceremony in which Adams was presented a framed copy of a City Council resolution honoring his service.

“It has been my absolute pleasure to be a public safety officer for the last 35 years,” Adams said.

“I have watched our community change and grow and I would submit to you grow for the better,” he said. “So what I charge you with is looking to the future. The future of Orangeburg is bright."

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“The Department of Public Safety plays a big picture in Orangeburg's future,” Adams said. “I want to thank council for the support ... over the years. I want to thank the constituents. I want to thank the citizens of Orangeburg for their steadfast support over the years.”

DPS and the city can take pride in Adams' service and recognize the commitment he made over a professional lifetime to police work and this community.

And in his words for a late colleague from 2015, the people of Orangeburg will know just how Adams viewed the important of being a "good cop."

Speaking at the funeral for retired Capt. David Ott, who also served 35 years with DPS, Adams said, “I learned lessons from him that I in turn teach to younger generations."

Adams began on the Orangeburg force as a 21-year-old serving on then-Lt. Ott’s shift. Adams said Ott taught lessons by example.

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He was fair. He was generous, Ott would encounter children as he responded to calls, many times reaching into his own pocket to provide money to those with nothing to eat, Adams said.

“He was a genuine, caring community policeman.”

And Adams cited Ott as a particularly strong model in these times of debate about police use of force. He taught that police power was to be used sparingly, Adams said.

“He was just a guy who was not really caught up in the use of power. He was a guy who believed in the inoffensive use of power. He would try to settle a situation without trying to use his authority.”

The lessons taught by Ott, according to Adams, “are lessons incorporated into our organizational values.”

"Everything we do, we feel like is based on efforts of men and women over the years.”

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Just as Adams praised Ott as a teacher, he too leaves a legacy of having taught many of the same kind of values he praised in Ott. Police work has changed and will continue changing, but the principles of serving and protecting will not.

Thank you for a job well done, Mike Adams.

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