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About the Chief

Chief Michael Butts

Meet Barnwell’s New Police Chief:

My name is Michael Butts, and I started my career as a public servant early at the age of 16 as a volunteer fireman and working with the Rescue Squad in Aiken and Edgefield County. From there I went to the South Carolina Department of Corrections where I served in several roles for five years. I served as a Corrections Officer, Transport Officer, and Environmental Health Safety Officer. I then continued my law enforcement career with the Edgefield Police Department where I served for 22 years and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant. I served in numerous roles from Officer, Private First Class, Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, and then Lieutenant. I served as the Departments Juvenile Officer, Shift Supervisor, General Sessions Court Liaison, and Training Officer. I would like to thank the Town of Edgefield for giving me the chance to start my career on the road with them, and Chief Ronnie Carter for the great leadership and knowledge that he showed and shared with me. 

It has always been a dream of mine to either serve as a Police Chief or Sheriff and to give back to the community. I thought my chances of achieving my goal were over until this great and honorable chance with the City of Barnwell came around. My first challenge with the City of Barnwell is to learn a new council, department, and citizens. As I start my journey as Chief a position, I don’t take lightly but with great respect and honor. I will serve the City of Barnwell with the up most respect and to the best of my ability. My goal is to work on restructuring, building the department, officer retention and bringing local and state officer training to the department. I will serve the Barnwell Police Department with an open-door policy, but I will be strong on officers being held to a higher standard, policies, discipline, and officer safety. I welcome and ask for any all questions, feedback and support from the city, citizens, civic organization because this is your department, and we can’t fix it if we don’t know it’s broken. I will lead with transparency and honesty. My office door will always be open, and I will be available any time someone would like to speak with me. If it is important to you, it is important to me. I believe in being firm, fair, and consistent. I will continue with the support of the council and citizens with community policing, which is grounded in making connections, establishing trust, and fostering relationships with people and civic organizations at the grassroot level. I will be a proactive Chief. We must always remember that we are public servants and strive to help those in need to the best of our abilities. We often find ourselves doing tasks that are not law enforcement related, but this is part of the job as we are here to serve and protect. A good well-rounded officer is always willing to serve others without complaint or criticism is my theory. I believe everyone is family and will be treated like so, if we can help, we will, we’re not here to lock everyone up. I look forward to working with the Chiefs of the surrounding towns and Sheriff Griffith and their departments and all state agencies.

I have family and friends that live and work in Barnwell and I have been married to my best friend Dawn Westmoreland Butts, a 1993 graduate of Barnwell High School, for 26 years and we love supporting the Barnwell Warhorses football team. I am a graduate from North Augusta High School. I wished that my parents, father-in-law, and wife’s grandparents who treated me as their own could have been here to see and share this with us. I know that they are looking down and smiling on us and me as take this position.

I am looking forward to this new adventure and ask the city to give the department a chance to get through the learning curve of getting to know each other, meaning me and the council, officers, and you, the great citizens of Barnwell. I know some of you already, but I look forward to meeting the rest of you as I serve you as your Chief of Police. I again would like to thank the Council and the City of Barnwell for this chance to serve you and I look forward to getting started and with everyone’s help and support making Barnwell a safe place to work and live.