'When you turn 21, come see me': Sheriff swears-in deputy he met at 11 years old

C.J. Warner, now 21, told Sheriff Leroy Ravenell he always wanted to become a police officer – and he kept that promise a decade later


By Sarah Calams

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A decade ago, an 11-year-old boy was visiting his sick great-grandfather at a hospital and met someone who would change the trajectory of his life.

C.J. Warner, now 21 years old, had met Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell in an elevator at the hospital, where Warner told Ravenell that he wanted to become a police officer one day, The Times and Democrat reported. Ravenell pulled a challenge coin from his pocket and told Warner to come see him when he turns 21.

Warner, who has held onto the coin ever since, kept that promise. In July, he was sworn-in as a deputy with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.

“It’s not often they come,” Ravenell said. “I just saw it in him at that time. I made his day when he saw me, and he made my day when he came back to see me.”

Warner’s father is also a part-time reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office, according to the report.

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