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Malone selected as Rice Festival Parade Grand Marshal

Rice Fest GMFormer Colleton County Sheriff George Malone will be the Grand Marshal of Saturday’s 2013 Rice Festival parade, which starts on South Jefferies Boulevard near Detreville Street at 11 a.m. and ends in the Ivanhoe Shopping Center parking lot.

Malone was born in Charleston, September 25, 1944, a son of John and Adrianna (Lucken) Malone. He has two brothers and two sisters. He grew up in the Walterboro area.

“I first got interested in law enforcement as a teenager. I started thinking about it at about 16 or 17 years old. My brother, John, was a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for 23 years, and I really looked up to him while growing up.”

Malone’s first job in law enforcement was actually right here in Colleton County. “I joined the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department in 1968, when John I. Seigler was sheriff,” he said. “I was the first African American full-time deputy employed in the county. I was hired as a deputy, and then worked my way up through the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and then major/chief deputy.”

Malone left the Sheriff’s Office in 1973, where he was hired as the first African American to serve as a supervisor at Dayco in Walterboro. He worked at the industrial facility for 13 years before returning to law enforcement.

“In 1987, I came back to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Cutter Ackerman, and my first ascension to Sheriff was by appointment when former Sheriff Travis Avant resigned from his position to work for SLED (the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division). That was a highlight in my career.”

Malone considers his greatest achievement in law enforcement was when he was elected as sheriff. “I was elected in 2004, and got to serve two terms through that election process.” He also expressed appreciation to the citizens of this county for allowing him to serve. “I would like to thank the people of Colleton County who voted to have me serve as their sheriff for two terms. I just pray that I achieved more positive results than negative for the county during those terms. I also thank my Lord Jesus Christ for what I have achieved.”

Malone remembered two specific incidents as the darkest times in his law enforcement career.” The worst time in my life, perhaps, was when Deputy Dennis Compton was killed in the line of duty.”

Compton was hit with a shotgun blast on Aug. 6, 2008. He died at a residence on Sunflower Road near Smoaks after responding to a call.

An incident report stated that deputies “responded to the scene in reference to an officer that could not be raised on the radio. The officer/victim, Dennis Compton, had responded to the scene in reference to an alarm and shortly after his arrival, we heard what sounded like ‘help’ come across the radio.”

The report continued, “While enroute to the crime scene, the homeowner’s son,…. who was the key-holder at the residence, came across the radio and stated that he had found an officer at the residence that had been shot with a shotgun and was not breathing. I requested that he start CPR on Deputy Compton and I arrived on the scene soon after.”

The deputy reported, “Upon arrival, I found Deputy Compton under the carport of the residence with his gun and flashlight on the ground. I took over CPR until the medic unit arrived. Upon arrival of the medic unit, myself and (another deputy) began to clear the area. We observed that the side door to the residence was open and there was a red shotgun shell on the handicap ramp coming from the door. There was also a grey/clear buckshot round in the grass a few feet away from the ramp. We did observe five spent forty caliber rounds under the carport that appeared to have been fired from Deputy Compton’s weapon.”

Malone said his second bleakest day in his career was when former Sheriff Eddie Chasteen died of cancer. “The death of Eddie Chasteen was a very low point during my career within law enforcement. I had the highest regard for that man, and his untimely death was hard, and not just hard on me. It was hard on everyone in the Sheriff’s Office, and it was also hard on all of the people living in Colleton County.”