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BEAUFORT, S.C. (July 30, 2020) – Matthew Clancy, chief of the City of Beaufort Police Department, passed away at home on July 29 surrounded by his family. Chief Clancy was 56 years old. He died of complications of neuroendocrine cancer.
Chief Clancy was promoted to police chief in 2008. Beloved and respected by his department and his City Hall colleagues, he was known for his commitment to community policing, and outreach to the neighborhoods of Beaufort.
“Chief Clancy was one of the finest public servants I have ever worked with,” said City Manager Bill Prokop. “He put his stamp on the city in many ways, and he made our Police Department stronger with his leadership. His legacy is the strong department he leaves behind.”
Said Mayor Billy Keyserling, “Chief Clancy was a humble, gentle, focused, disciplined GIANT and anyone who dealt with him, on either side of the law, respected Matt’s gentle though forceful direct, honest, fair approach and strong leadership.”
A post on the department’s Facebook page representing officers and staff said, “I speak for all members of our department when I say that we lost a great man and tremendous leader, but we are better men and women for having had the opportunity to have worked alongside him. Chief Clancy, it is your time to rest. We will take it from here.”
Chief Clancy grew up in Long Island, New York. He graduated from The Citadel in 1986 and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
While on active duty, Chief Clancy served in various billets in the Fleet Marine Forces and at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. In 1993 he left the Marine Corps to begin a career in law enforcement. He joined the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office where he served as deputy sheriff, corporal and sergeant, from 1993-97.
In 1997 Chief Clancy moved to the Beaufort Police Department where he served as a patrol officer, criminal investigator, investigative lieutenant, and deputy chief. In 2009, he was promoted to the position of chief.
“Persistently and conscientiously committed to improve his professional skills and, by example, lead those of his team to do the same, Chief Clancy was a graduate of the 220th Session of the FBI National Academy, the International Association of Police Chiefs’ ’Leading by Legacy Program,’ and the South Carolina Diversity Leadership Initiative presented by Furman University’s Riley Center for Public Policy,” said Mayor Keyserling.
Chief Clancy loved sports cars and his motorcycle. He was frequently seen walking Missy, a shelter dog the Police Department adopted in 2017, and a much loved member of the department. Missy often accompanied the Chief home at night to be with his family’s other dog, Rudy.
Chief Clancy is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two sons, Tyler and Connor. Services are pending.