Melton retires as South Carolina Senate Sergeant At Arms

January 8, 2019
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South Carolina Senate Sergeant-At-Arms James Melton, right, speaks to Sen. Katrina Shealy, left, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Columbia, South Carolina. Melton is retiring after 29 years in his job. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For the first time in 29 years, South Carolina state senators have a new person in charge of their safety.

Senate Sergeant At Arms James Melton retired Tuesday after 29 years in the position. The Senate voted his assistant, Charles “Chuck” Williams Jr. the new Sergeant At Arms.

Along with safety, Melton is in charge of enforcing decorum in the chamber and making sure people get where they need to be. One of his last official acts was to guide members of Sen. Harvey Peeler’s family to the front of the chamber with his purple robe after he was elected Senate President.

Melton has served in law enforcement for 40 years and lives in Camden.

Williams has spent two years as assistant Sergeant At Arms and lives in Irmo.

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