Russell Roark

Chief of Police


Sumter Police Chief Russell F. Roark, III, began his law enforcement career when he joined the South Carolina Highway Patrol in 1982. Stationed initially in Sumter, he worked in the Midlands throughout his career, serving as Captain of Troop 1 comprised of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Richland and Sumter counties. He was promoted to Colonel of the Highway Patrol in 2003. During his tenure as Colonel, he was instrumental in the development of many life-saving traffic safety campaigns, the creation of the Highway Patrol’s Victim Services Unit, and the creation of a support group for the families of highway fatality victims.


Chief Roark retired from the Highway Patrol in 2008 and joined the Sumter Police Department as Deputy Chief in 2009. He was named Chief of Police in September 2011. Chief Roark’s policing philosophies place strong emphasis on both policing through community partnerships as well as intelligence-led policing.  


Chief Roark is a graduate of St. Leo University, the South Carolina Executive Institute, and the FBI National Academy and was the 2006 recipient of the Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.