ONE OF THEIR OWN: Chapin police chief retires after serving hometown

CHAPIN, SC (WOLO) — The small Lexington County town of Chapin is affectionately known as the ‘Capital of Lake Murray’.

It’s also the hometown of Chapin Police Chief Seth Zeigler who has been in law enforcement for more than two decades.

“Having a new chapter will afford me a lot more time with my family,” Chief Zeigler said. “I’m really excited about that moving forward.”

After serving many years with the West Columbia Police Department, Zeigler jumped at the chance to serve as police chief of his hometown.

“Not only do I know a lot of the people here, I take pride in the community and our relationship,” the chief said. “It’s important to facilitate and foster our relationship with the community.”

Chief Zeigler had the pleasure of serving his hometown and the next police chief will as well. He thanks Zeigler for getting him involved in law enforcement.

“We’ve been friends and co-workers for 15 plus years. Prior to my law enforcement career, I met him. He’s the one who essentially told me to work for West Columbia Police Department at that time,” said Thomas Griffin, who will be the new police chief in Chapin.

While he already knows many of the people in Chapin growing up in the town, Griffin says he also sees a lot of new faces he is excited to meet.

“Everyone who has come here has come here for the right reasons,” Griffin said. “They want to continue to grow their family and bring good things to Chafin. They have done. I’m really excited about that part.”

He says that the outgoing chief showed him a good example of how to lead a police department.

“Chief Zeigler has taught me about servant leadership. If you lead by example, your men and women on the force will follow you in that way,” the new police chief said. “Don’t ask your officers to do anything you’re not willing to do. Be there for them whenever they call upon you.”

Both men say that community policing is important. 

“One of the things I prided myself on was facilitating positive interactions with members of the community.  We had some Easter egg hunts, fall festivals and a junior sportsman’s classic. We really got to interact with the people,” Zeigler said. “It wasn’t a call for service. We were facilitating a good time and good fellowship. Those are moments I’ll cherish.”

The University of Oklahoma graduate leaves future law enforcement members with this advice.

“I would encourage them to get as much education as they possibly can and keep it simple,” said the outgoing chief. “Always remember to do the right thing.”

Serving the community runs in the Zeigler family. The police chief’s father served as chief of the Chafin Fire Department. 

Categories: Lexington, Local News, Richland