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Posted on: December 7, 2023

McDorman to retire as Beaufort police chief in January

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (Dec. 7, 2023)  – Police Chief Dale A. McDorman will retire from the Beaufort Police Department on Jan. 26, 2024. McDorman announced his retirement to his department on Dec. 6.

City Manager Scott Marshall said that, upon McDorman’s departure, he intends to appoint Deputy Chief Stephenie Price as the interim police chief while the city conducts a search for a new chief. He noted that the search will be multi-faceted and will include input from citizens and from City Council. “I think it’s important to include public feedback and to be as transparent as possible when considering a hire for a position like this,” he said.  

McDorman began with the Beaufort Police Department in 1995. He established the department’s first K-9 program. He was promoted through the ranks, and became lieutenant/operations in 2005. In 2010, he was promoted to deputy chief by Chief Matthew Clancy. He was named interim chief in July 2020 following Clancy’s death. In November of 2020, McDorman was selected as police chief.

During his tenure, Chief McDorman led the department in increased transparency efforts as well as greater community engagement. The department now posts monthly reports related to police calls, crimes, and demographic information. McDorman began a Nixle alert system for the City of Beaufort. In addition, the department began various outreach efforts directed at children, families, businesses, and residents, such as Chill with a Cop, Movie Nights in the Park, Walk with a Cop, and Coffee with a Cop. 

He also worked to get additional school resource officers at each public school in the City of Beaufort, and to establish a mentoring program for at-risk students. Under his leadership, the Police Department has hosted numerous training and continuing education classes for law enforcement officers from throughout Beaufort County.

Notably, the Police Department was recently notified that it had earned a Certificate of Accreditation from South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc., the organization that audits law enforcement agencies in the state every three years to ensure that they are meeting national standards in both policies and practices. The accreditation commends the department for its “demonstrated dedication to excellence and professionalism.” 

“I’m so proud of our department and what we have accomplished, and this accreditation is due to all the hard work of the officers and staff,” McDorman said. “These last 28 years went by quickly, and it was an honor getting to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated officers you will ever find. I want to thank the citizens for the opportunity to serve them and ultimately lead their Police Department.

“I’m proud that together we accomplished many great things and I know there will be many great accomplishments in the department’s future,” he said.

“After serving the city for over 28 years, we lose a lot of experience when Chief McDorman retires,” said Acting Mayor Michael McFee. “But we are so very grateful for his long-tenured service and all that he has done to make our police department and our city better.”

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