DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – In memory of the late Sheriff Douglas ‘Humbunny’ Pernell, crime boxes with his face have been installed at fire departments across Dillon County.

Before the sheriff unexpectedly died, he made a request that crime boxes be installed as a way for the people of Dillon County to report crime anonymously.

Cynthia Pernell, the wife of the late sheriff said she believes the crime boxes are a positive thing for the community.  

“It allows all of the community to do something discreetly without the fear of people knowing that they are reporting things that’s happening around them,” she said.

Rev. Larry Williams, president and CEO of the Crime Block Program said Pernell had great love for the people in Dillon County.  

Williams reflected on a conversation he had with Pernell shortly before his unexpected passing. He said the sheriff expressed great joy about the crime boxes being installed.

“We had gotten together,” he said. “It was on Monday before he passed at 4 o’clock, actually we talked about the locations and he was going to email me the different locations of the fire departments, that was at 4 o’clock and at 6 o’clock he was gone.”

Crime block was established in 1993 to empower schools and communities to become more actively involved in reporting crimes.

It takes the fear out of turning in a criminal and it allows the citizens to remain anonymous, William said.

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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.