UNION COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Chief Russell Roark Jr. of the Union County Sheriff’s Office was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Henry McMaster Tuesday.

Roark was given the honor for his 59 years of service in Union County. He was presented the award on the steps of the Union County Courthouse.

“This has been a special day for Chief Roark and for the Union County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Jeff D. Bailey. “Chief is a special person with qualities that we all should aspire to have in our everyday life.”

The Order of the Palmetto, created in 1971, is the highest civilian honor given by the South Carolina Governor and recognizes those who provide significant contributions to their communities and to the state.