Passing of former Interim Chief William Herkert, Jr.

By | February 21, 2021

It is with heavy hearts that the College of Charleston Department of Public Safety was informed today of the loss of one of our own.

Former Deputy Chief and later Interim Chief William F. Herkert, Jr. passed yesterday, February 19, 2021 at the Medical University of South Carolina. Chief Herkert dedicated multiple decades of his life to public service and law enforcement. He was a man of moral character and never hesitated to help others, having voluntarily come out of retirement on two separate occasions to heed the call for service.

His dedication to the job and his professionalism set a benchmark for others to follow. His leadership by example was exemplary. His presence and spirit are and will continue to be missed. Keep his friends and family in your thoughts.


From Chief Chip Searson:

As I often say, those who serve in our profession are a different breed. Those called to serve are cut from a different cloth.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord say who shall I send and who will go for us? And I said I am here Lord, send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

Bill Herkert said I am here Lord….send me…..

Gods speed to you Chief.


Chief Herkert’s end of watch was 19 February 2021. He was 65 years old and leaves behind a wife, adult children, extended family, and a huge law enforcement family. Rest easy, Chief. We have the watch now.

9 thoughts on “Passing of former Interim Chief William Herkert, Jr.

  1. Leo Sokoloski

    Chief Herkert was a great law enforcement leader and a great instructor. Bill taught for many years teaching for Penn State Justice & Safety Institute, Bill will be missed. Rest in Peace my friend.

  2. Jason D. Umberger

    Chief Herkert was a great friend and mentor. He was a man of high integrity and always advocated that the right thing be done. He was a leader among leaders and his contributions to law enforcement cannot be replaced. I will miss his wisdom and friendship. My heart goes out to his wife Shelly and the rest of his family.

    Chief Jason D. Umberger
    DeLand Police Department, Florida
    formerly of the Swatara Township Police Department. Harrisburg, PA

  3. Officer J. Narciso

    Chief Herkert jump started my LE career when he guided me through the hiring process at Cofc Public Safety. He was a true professional and recognized the passion and dedication of his officers. When I wanted more out of my career, he encouraged me not to hold back, and to carry on my love for this job to a larger agency where I could grow. Chief, you were a great man. You looked out for all of us, even in situations where your hands were tied. Regardless, you will be sorely missed. Gods speed Chief Herkert.

  4. Paul Banach

    Chief Herkert was a colleague, friend, and mentor who will never be forgotten. I had the honor and privilege to work with Bill for many years at the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute. Bill’s expertise is cherished for his contributions developing training for supervisors and commanders in law enforcement. Bill had a passion and flair for what he did. He was instrumental to teaching new supervisors and commanders, espousing professionalism and ethical values. I had the opportunity to watch Bill command a class with his knowledge and friendly personality. He was liked by everyone he instructed. Bill was dedicated law enforcement officer who always wanted to give back to the profession. In essence, he never retired and everyone he touched is appreciative of his sacrifices. The Penn State family will truly miss Bill. There will always be a void. Godspeed to you brother. Your legacy will live on. To Bill’s family, thank you for sharing him with us. He spoke about you often and will continue to watch over you.
    Paul Banach
    Penn State Justice and Safety Institute

  5. Rodney Tyrone Parks

    I am shocked and saddened by this news. Chief Herkert and I colloborated recently on a teaching assignment for Penn State. His insight and contributions to the success of the class were invauluable. He was a pleasure to work with and will be missed. My condolences to his family and his colleauges at the College of Charleston.

    Rodney T. Parks
    Assistant Chief of Police (Retired)
    Metropolitan Police Department, Washington , D.C.

  6. Dawn Taylor

    Thanks you so much for the beautiful tribute and condolences for my brother, Chief William Herkert. There has been such an outpouring of love for him and his family from NJ to PA to SC. He really loved working in the field of law enforcement. It truly was his passion. He was such a bright light in this world. We will all miss him.

    Dawn Taylor

    1. Em Novellino

      Good morning Dawn,

      My condolences to you and your family for your loss.

      I’m hoping you can help. I see you mention NJ in your message. By any chance did your brother attend Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township, Ocean County?

      William Herkert was a member of the 1971 Golden Eagles Football Team. Jersey #70.
      A 50 year tribute is being held for the team and those who have passed will be remembered.

      Is your brother part of that team?

  7. Bob Beaudry

    To reiterate a comment above, Chief Herkert was “Leader among Leaders”. Bill was truly a Great Man, Leader, Mentor and…I’m proud to say, Friend. I admired him. He was a brilliant law enforcement mind. I was fortunate to work closely with Chief Herkert. Bill and I worked hand in hand on the College’s Accreditation initiative. He always had a smile and an encouraging word… even facing stressful and difficult times beyond his control. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of profound loss. Rest in Peace Brother.

  8. landon merck

    thanks for all that yall said i know yall miss him as much as i do. thanks he was the best grandpa i could have asked for


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