Image result for A. Lewis McCartyA. Lewis McCarty, whose law enforcement career in Lexington County spanned more than three decades, has died at the age of 76.

“Sheriff McCarty had an incredible influence on me as a law enforcement officer and leader,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “He touched many others in the profession and had a hand in laying a firm foundation at the Sheriff’s Department that’s still in place today. I, along with the entire department, owe him a debt of gratitude for his entire body of work and years of service.”

McCarty died January 19 at Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital. He had been in declining health for several months.

A Columbia native, McCarty joined the West Columbia Police Department as a patrolman in 1964, resigning in 1972 as a lieutenant. He was second in command at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department from 1973 until his retirement in 1999. McCarty served as Lexington County’s 38th sheriff from June 2014 until Koon took office in April 2015.

Funeral plans are not yet finalized. Caughman-Harman Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.