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Abbeville County Chief Deputy Natalie Talbert will join Greenwood County School District 50 in October.

Natalie Talbert, second-in-command at the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, is stepping down to take a newly created position in Greenwood County School District 50.

Talbert will serve as the district’s security officer, a district office position that Superintendent Steve Glenn said will take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to security. She will handle everything from “slips and falls all the way to shooters,” he said at a board meeting in August.

Talbert’s last day as chief deputy will be Sept. 30.

In a prepared statement, Sheriff Ray Watson said Talbert had served Greenwood and Abbeville counties and the state of South Carolina “with honor, pride and dignity.”

“Her leadership over these years, you can’t replace it. Her shoes will be hard to fill and at this time, I have no plans to have another chief deputy,” Watson said. “Natalie’s leadership over the past seven years has prepared our future leaders with the knowledge and experience they will need to take over her responsibilities.”

Talbert said she was sad to have to say goodbye to her colleagues in Abbeville but was excited about her new role.

“Abbeville has been very good to me, but I’ve been in law enforcement for 39 years, and I’m ready to do something different,” she said. “I think I can really make a difference in the school district working with the students and teachers and the administration.”

Talbert joined the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office in 2013. Before that, she was the domestic violence investigator for the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and a senior agent for the State Law Enforcement Division. She received an associate degree in criminal justice from Piedmont Technical College and her state certification from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge,” Glenn said. “If you think about it, she’s done it.”

Contact staff writer Aleks Gilbert at 864-943-5644.