HomeColumbiaSLED Chief Mark Keel granted another six-year term by South Carolina Senate

SLED Chief Mark Keel granted another six-year term by South Carolina Senate

Columbia, South Carolina – South Carolina’s chief law enforcement official, Chief Mark Keel, has been reaffirmed for another term. On Wednesday, the Senate voted unanimously to grant Keel another six-year run leading the State Law Enforcement Division. Keel first took charge in 2011, and Governor Henry McMaster reappointed him last December, announcing that the 66-year-old was ready to continue after a mandatory 30-day retirement.

This break let Keel access his pension. State law mandates a month-long gap for retirees to claim their benefits and return to work.

“With over 40 years of law enforcement experience and more than 12 years as the leader of SLED, Chief Keel is widely recognized by the public, elected officials, and the media as the leader of our state’s law enforcement community,” McMaster said in a statement in December. “Retaining Chief Keel’s leadership and law enforcement expertise is a victory for our entire state. He is a true public servant, and I thank him for his willingness to continue serving the people of South Carolina.”

Keel was first chosen by then-Governor Nikki Haley, then reappointed by McMaster in 2018. His new term comes with a $267,000 salary after receiving a raise from $195,700 last fall.

Read also: Florence County Sheriff’s Deputy Tommy Rauch honored with Jack Cover Award for bravery

A Barnwell native, Keel joined SLED in 1979 after graduating from Georgia Southern University. Since then, he’s risen through the ranks, holding various positions like helicopter pilot and hostage negotiator.

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