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#06-59 March 6, 2006

State DNR officers’ names appear on law enforcement memorial

Lawmakers and dozens of uniformed officers gathered on the south steps of the State House on Feb. 15 to dedicate a memorial to South Carolina law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The names of 308 officers are inscribed on a memorial southwest of the State House, and nine of those names are officers who died while protecting the state's natural resources. The names can be found in chronological order.

Governor Mark Sanford, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Attorney General Henry McMaster were among those who thanked the families of fallen officers for the service and sacrifice of their loved ones.

The names of the fallen officers are engraved on walls that surround a central column topped with aS.C. Law Enforcement Officers Memorial large eagle. The column bears the words “Lest We Forget.” A blue line runs on the pavement through the center of the memorial.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) law enforcement officers in South Carolina have been on the front lines of conservation since the first county game wardens were appointed in 1905.

When South Carolina’s first game wardens ventured afield in 1905, they focused on the illegal trapping of fish, which was especially rampant on the Edisto River. Public pressure had forced many trappers to remove their fish-catching devices, but that wasn’t the end of the story. Warden L. Pressley Reeves of Reevesville in Dorchester County, who had been largely responsible for bringing the trapping to a halt, was shot to death by a hidden assassin in September 1908. A warrant was never issued in the case. Reeves death brought legislative attention to conservation issues that previously was viewed of little consequence by many South Carolinians.

Reeves' name has also been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 31, W-20. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is open around the clock every day of the year. Situated near court and police facilities, it occupies Judiciary Square bordered by E, F, 4th and 5th Streets Northwest.

Warden Robert Joseph McIntyre was born in Marion County in 1917 and died in 1956. He was a World War II veteran and had been with the department for three years before he drowned in Carmichael Lake in Marion County. McIntyre’s name has also been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 14, W-10.

A.C. Campbell was elected to the position of game warden by the voters of Anderson County in the late 1930s. He remained on the job until his death in 1969. He is remembered, among other things, for keeping boaters safe on Lake Hartwell, which opened during his tenure. Campbell’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 10, W-16.

Sergeant Charles Levon McNeill of Conway died in 1974 after being shot point-blank without provocation by one of three poachers he had issued citations for hunting deer in a sanctuary near Conway. McNeill was a 23-year veteran wildlife officer. His partner that day, Floyd Benton, was also wounded during the incident and lost his right eye in the shooting. The three subjects, ages 62, 53 and 29, fled the scene but were later taken into custody. McNeill’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 13, W-8.
Captain Ray G. Moore joined the department in 1952 and served the agency until his death in 1975 at the age of 51. He succumbed to a heart attack during the routine performance of his duties. Moore’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 55, E-5.

Corporal Doyle Hays Hill died in 1975 of a heart attack while carrying a boat across a plowed field in Clarendon County to rescue someone who was stranded because of weather conditions. He dedicated nearly 18 years to wildlife law enforcement. Hill’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 55, E-5.

Corporal Robert D. Sadler died while serving the state's resources in 1982. He died from head injuries caused by an automobile accident. Sadler was traveling east on Highway 9 near Duford in Horry County. He was returning home after checking for fishing law violations. His vehicle left the highway and struck an embankment. He had been with the DNR for nearly eight years. Sadler’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 63, E-6.

Corporal George Don Peeler began his career with DNR in 1979 and served as a conservation officer until he died in a vehicle accident about 8 miles south of Gaffney while on duty in 1989 at age 52. Peeler’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 37, E-6.

Corporal Leroy Mallett Dantzler began his career in law enforcement when he was commissioned an officer in 1984. He died in a traffic accident in 1991 in Clarendon County. Dantzler’s name has been engraved at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name can be found on panel 23, W-18.

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