National Police Week is designated for the week of May 15th and serves as an appreciation and recognition week for all law enforcement officers. Specifically May 15th is designated nationally as Peace Officer Memorial Day. As such, Mayor Mel Pennington has signed a Proclamation decreeing May 15th as Peace Officer Memorial Day for the City of Hartsville. In remembrance of this day, the City of Hartsville honors our fallen officer Ulysses “Buck” Dobson, Sr.

City Manager, Natalie Zeigler remarks on the incident, “Although we have had only one fallen officer in the line of duty, this is certainly one too many. This is an instance in which history should not repeat itself. Officer Dobson was a trailblazer for many in our Police Department and our community.”

At the age of 45, Dobson responded to a call at a residence in reference to a domestic dispute. The husband of the woman who had been beaten ran into the backyard of the residence and hid when patrolmen arrived at the scene. Dobson ran in pursuit of the man and was shot by the man with a shotgun. Dobson was transported immediately to Byerly Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the following day. The suspect turned himself in two days following the shooting.

The incident occurred in April of 1953. Dobson served with the Hartsville Department of Public Safety for 2 years. He was the first African-American officer to serve with the agency.

“Our officers train frequently for situations such as these. Safety of not only the community but our officers is always a concern for our department.” says Chief Thompson of the Hartsville Police Department.

Please remember Patrolmen Dobson and his family during National Police Week. To leave a reflection on Dobson’s online memorial follow the link,