CHERAW - Will Rogers is ready to go.
Rogers will step into his new position as Fourth Circuit Solicitor for Chesterfield, Marlboro, Dillon and Darlington counties at the first of the year. He will replace Fourth Circuit Solicitor Jay Hodge, who is retiring after 11 years in the Solicitor's Office. Rogers says he is looking forward to serving the people.
Rogers resides in Bennettsville with his wife, Deborah, a daughter, Kasey, and a son, William.
"This is something I have always aspired to do," said Rogers. "Jay announced his retirement and I felt the timing was right to pursue my goal of being solicitor. My experience over the last 11 years will help with a smooth transition. I have been here long enough to understand the programs as well as the changes including the new case management system implemented by the state. It gives me a lot of perspective. Working with the courts and the Sheriff's Departments, I have met a lot of good people in all four counties. I look forward to the opportunity of developing close relationships with town and county councils and local law enforcement."
After receiving a bachelor's degree in business finance and a law degree from the University of South Carolina, Rogers practiced law in Myrtle Beach for three years. He is currently a partner at Rogers & Munnerlyn Law Firm in Bennettsville.
Rogers has worked closely with the Fourth Circuit Solicitor's Office as assistant solicitor for the past 11 years.
Moving into the upcoming year of 2009, Rogers says that he wants to try to keep many of the programs that have been established by Hodge.
"There are a lot of programs that Jay implemented or started that I want to continue, and the one's that are already in all of the four counties I want to expand," said Rogers.
He noted two particular programs: Adult Drug Court in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties and Juvenile Drug Court open in Darlington, Dillon and Marlboro counties.
"We are here to promote justice," said Rogers. "We want to help rehabilitate those that can be helped. Others who are past that point need to serve time."
Rogers wants to improve the quality of life in all four counties by creating a gang task force. This would include the Solicitor's Office getting more involved with law enforcement. The two would work together to get the community more involved.
"We want to stop kids from being involved with gangs," said Rogers. "Kids turn to gangs for many reasons. The result may be due to a poor family situation, or divorced parents. The gang becomes their family. The more we have for these kids to do such as church group activities and parent involvement; it would benefit them and hopefully keep them from getting into trouble. I believe that school truancy can also be related to gangs. We need programs to keep them busy so they will have a chance in life. Since I have experience as assistant solicitor, I had an idea of what I was getting into. I know that there is a lot of administration duties I will be doing, but I feel that it is very important that the Solicitor stay involved in every aspect of the office. I still like to be involved in the courtroom."