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Posted on: October 22, 2020

Beaufort narrows search for police chief

BEAUFORT, S.C. (Oct. 22, 2020)  – The City of Beaufort is going through a multi-step process to choose its next police chief for its department of 44 officers and four civilian staffers. 

Police Chief Matthew J. Clancy passed away on July 29. He had been chief for 12 years. Since that time, Interim Chief Dale McDorman has led the department.

The recruitment process has included posting the job description and essential requirements on a variety of websites, including the City’s website and LinkedIn page, the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s website, and the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association’s website. The position was advertised for a month.

“The position is primarily focused on actively providing proactive leadership by supporting, encouraging, directing, coaching, developing and evaluating both sworn and civilian personnel to foster and build upon, the Police Department’s reputation of being a highly responsive and diverse department with staff who are an active part of the community and understand the importance of proactively developing and maintaining community policing policies and initiatives that strengthen the relations between the department and citizens they serve,” the job description says. 

Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field, 10 or more years in progressively responsible positions in a police department, with at least seven years of command management, and the “ability to evaluate and implement 21st century policing practices regarding public policy, public perception and law enforcement trends.”

Job brochure link here

An initial review team, composed of City department heads and appointed by City Manager Bill Prokop, reviewed all applications. The top applicants were then interviewed via Zoom.

The best applicants from that group were then interviewed by approximately 15 people, including City Council members; Stephen Murray and Mike Sutton, both candidates for mayor this November; and diverse members of the community selected by the city manager to provide input. These community members represented various neighborhoods, Beaufort non-profits, law enforcement and the legal profession.

Finalists have been selected and will be interviewed by Prokop over the next 10 days. He will consider input from the various stakeholders. A deep background investigation will be conducted before the new chief is announced, Prokop said.

“Given the strong caliber of our finalists, I am confident that our next chief will be an exceptional leader who will continue our commitment to a police force that is responsive to our community and that ensures our neighborhoods are safe and secure,” Prokop said.

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