I have known (of) Alan Walters for many, many years. My husband grew up with two of his brothers, Tommy and Barry, and like all of his childhood friends, I’ve heard about the Walters over the years. A friend of mine introduced me to Alan when he was working as an investigator. Since then, our paths have crossed on several occasions and I’ve always greeted him and he the same.
I ran into him again at the Harborside Restaurant in the old Fogel Mall. He was there with the Rotary Club having their weekly meeting/lunch. We spoke as he was coming out.
“I’ve read some of your articles through GAB News,” he said when asked if he would be interested in being interviewed. “And sure, I’d be glad to sit down with you and talk.”
He’s been married with Susan Walters for 29 years. That’s an amazing feat these days. His wife was working at Department of Social Services at the time they met. Alan was with the sheriff’s department. They were going to check out a case together when he had received another call and because it was of higher priority, he had to drop Susan off somewhere and go.
“I left her at the old jail on Merriman Road,” he said with a laugh. “I came back later and asked her to lunch and we just went from there.”
These days, Alan works in Risk, Safety, and Management for the Georgetown County School District. He started working with them after Sandy Hook.
“Do you like this job?” I asked knowing he’s always been somewhere in law enforcement.
“I love it,” he answered. “I love my job. Right now, it is where I want to be.”
We spoke about his law enforcement career and Alan shared with me that his grandfather was also a policeman. He pulled out his phone and showed me pictures of a man dressed in an old police uniform standing next to his police motorcycle.
“I started off at the sheriff’s department in 1985,” he said of his own career. “I was a road deputy and eventually moved up to investigator. I was a lieutenant back then. After the Sheriff’s department, I went to Andrews Police for a few months before coming back to Georgetown. I worked as a police officer here before I became the Magistrate. I stayed there until I came to work here in Risk, Safety, and Management for the schools.”
“I can’t believe you gave up being the Magistrate,” I joked. “That is a really good job to have.”
“Well, I’m still the Magistrate in Pawley’s Island,” Alan confessed, “But here is good for me. Dr. Dozier (Georgetown County’s School Superintendent) usually takes into consideration many of my ideas and implements them. He always makes the children his number one priority.”
We talked a little more in depth about mutual acquaintances, his job with the sheriff’s department, and the Carters. Alan said he’d worked for Michael when he first started, which got us talking about Woodrow Carter and the Sunset Lodge.
I told Alan I always wanted to write a book about the Carters, especially about the lodge. “I can’t believe what I’ve heard about that place.
Alan knew what I meant and explained, “Woodrow always said that you can’t enforce any more law than the people want.”
I thought about that and he’s right.
For those that may remember, Alan is very intelligent. He was even on Jeopardy for heaven’s sake! I told him how I was at work one night and the CNAs came to get me and asked if I knew him. They said a Georgetown man was a contestant on the popular game show and I did know who he was. It turned out to be Alan Walters.
“My wife is the one who filled out the application for me and several months later, we received the notice that I was accepted,” he said of his 15 minutes of fame. “There were about 300 people who applied. We had to take these tests to see how well we did. After which, only 25 people made it. The hardest thing was learning the buzzard. During the first part of the game, I couldn’t answer anything because my button wasn’t working so, when the make-up crew came out, I mentioned it to them, and they showed me how to buzz in correctly. After that, it was all good.”
Ha! That’s what he says. I would have flubbed every question (or answer) given.
“How far did you get? Did you win?” I asked, staying on point.
Alan nodded, “Yes, I did win one round and brought home about $12,000, which is about half of what you’d win today. We had to pay for our way out there, all of our accommodations, and, of course, taxes. It was the only time I ever had to file taxes in California, too.
Before I ended our meeting and in light of current events and Alan’s professional position, I had to ask about gun control. “Are you in support of the 2nd Amendment?” I asked.
“Yes, I am,” Alan answered without hesitation. “I’m a card carrying member of the NRA, too.”
I made some notes and then asked, “How do the recent school shootings affect the teacher’s desires to carry concealed weapons?”
“Well, there are already laws in place that we should enforce,” he stated evenly. “Besides, teachers are already allowed to carry in the school as long as they have permits, but you know, it’s easy to shoot at a paper target than it is to shoot a human being. When you shoot at a person, you know that you could take their life and many teachers are not comfortable with the idea of shooting their student so, I can understand both sides of the argument.
“As for what we’re doing to provide safety for our children: we have resource officers at the schools with the exception of elementary schools, for now. We are putting some off duty police officers in the elementary schools as well,” he explained. “Again, the teachers have shared with me their feelings so, I’ve heard both sides. Some think it’s a good idea and want to enforce it, but there are a lot of teachers who say they’d feel more comfortable with someone more experienced with guns on the premises.”
I like Alan’s attitude about things as well as his demeanor. He’s pretty laid back and easy going. Alan doesn’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, for guns, against guns, or whatever you’re for. He has his own thoughts and ideas, too. The bottom line is he’s for the benefit of the children and for the improvement of Georgetown.