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Posted on: October 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Police chief search narrows to top 3

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (Oct. 28, 2020) – The City of Beaufort has narrowed its search for police chief to three top candidates. The new chief will lead a department of 44 officers and four civilian staffers, succeeding Chief Matthew J. Clancy, who passed away in July. 

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Patrick Grossman, of Hagerstown, Md. Grossman is currently acting police chief of the Frederick (Md.) Police Department. He has more than 22 years of experience in law enforcement, a B.A. in Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Master of Administrative Science, also from Fairleigh Dickinson. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Ben Herron, of Pooler, Ga. Herron is currently a captain with the Savannah Police Department. He has more 32 years of experience in law enforcement. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Savannah State University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbus State University.
  • Dale McDorman, of Beaufort. McDorman is currently interim police chief of the Beaufort Police Department. He has 30 years of experience in civilian law enforcement, and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia College. He became Beaufort’s deputy chief of police in 2010. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a security police investigator.

A fourth candidate, from Virginia, withdrew his candidacy.

The recruitment process 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.”

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.

Currently, Prokop is conducting final interviews and background checks.

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