Honoring the departed at a new beginning


The opening of Aiken’s Public Safety headquarters brought more than just a new building. Along with the brick and mortar came a way to honor a handful of men and women in who perished in the line of duty.

“If you know where you came from, there’s no limit to where you can go and those men and women that sacrificed their lives serving this community have earned the right to be remembered and to be honored,” said Lieutenant Jake Mahoney.

Rosemary Busbee, the wife of the late Chief J. Carrol Busbee said, “It’s such an honor for him and all the other fallen officers.”

Hundreds of people came out March 31 for the ribbon cutting ceremony of Aiken Public Safety’s new headquarters.

“We’re here to serve this community. We’re here to partner with this community and make Aiken a safe place for years to come,” said Lt. Mahoney.

Not only did people come to 824 Beaufort Street NE to check out the new facility, but they also came to pay their respects to first responders who lost their lives while on duty.

Lt. Mahoney said, “We knew Scotty. We knew Sandy and of course, we knew Chief.

​​Inside the lobby, there is a wall decorated with plaques of officers who died while on the job. Inscribed on each plaque is a message of their prestige.

The new building is named after J. Carrol Busbee. He served the Aiken community for more than 30 years.

“It was in his blood. When he came back from the Korean War, he joined as a volunteer fireman for the city and just worked his way up till he became chief. He was very fond of the men and women but family always came first to him,” said Rosemary.

The new facility is nearly 50,000 square feet which is a big change from their old office on Laurens Street. The department’s space there was about 20,000 square feet.

The inside of the new building is state of the art. It’s equipped with new interviewing rooms, a courtroom, a gym for firefighters and public safety officers. They also added an extra bay door for fire trucks, making four in total.

“I hope the men and women of this department will find this to suit their needs so that they can better serve the community, can engage with the community not just today but for the next 30, 40 years to come,” said Mahoney.

Aiken Public Safety’s new headquarters was completed on time and under budget.

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