BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.— Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury announced Wednesday he will step down from his position once his term officially ends in 15 months. While the decision to not seek re-election is bittersweet, the 69-year-old stated that he’s looking forward to retirement and spending more time with his family—especially the grandkids.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in the coroner’s office, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of people. It’s such a rewarding job when you can help someone through their darkest moments and provide them with closure,” stated Salisbury. “At the same time, the job of a coroner is tough. We deal with death every day. Many cases stay with you.”
Salisbury started as a volunteer with the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office in 1992 under former coroner Wade Arnette. In 1999, he officially went on the county payroll as a part-time crime scene technician/deputy coroner. In 2003, he was promoted to chief deputy coroner under the late Glenn Rhoad. In 2011, he was elected coroner. Following his decision to not seek re-election, Salisbury stated that he will support his current chief deputy coroner, George Oliver, in his efforts to fill his position.
“George is a good man who has the experience to manage the coroner’s office effectively,” stated Salisbury. “He is someone who shows great dignity, compassion and respect to families going through some of their hardest moments in life. I’m confident in his ability to lead the coroner’s office after I retire, and I’m proud to endorse his candidacy for office.”
Prior to joining the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office in 2006 as a deputy coroner, Oliver spent 27 years as a South Carolina Law Enforcement (SLED) agent. He was officially promoted to chief deputy in 2011. Along with his extensive law enforcement background, Oliver has received advanced coroner training in a variety of courses including death investigation. He’s also certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigations (ABMDI). He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1983.
“Once Bill steps down, I’m going to have some pretty big shoes to fill,” stated Oliver. “When I retired from SLED, I developed such a big appreciation for the coroner’s office and what they do. We don’t just run around and pronounce people dead. We provide comfort, closure and an occasional shoulder to cry on. Often times, families have many questions. We do our best to be accommodating and answer their questions to the best of our ability.”
Oliver is happily married to his wife of almost 20 years. Together, they have three children, one daughter and two boys. He is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #19 and Moncks Corner United Methodist Church.
He will formally file the paperwork to run for Berkeley County Coroner in March 2018. The primary will then take place three months later with the general election taking place in November.
Salisbury’s last day as coroner will be December 31, 2018.