Sheriff on new police chief: 'He loves to put thugs in jail'

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - During a press conference Friday morning introducing new North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said that Driggers was fair with people and that Driggers "loves to put thugs in jail."

Mayor Keith Summey first introduced Driggers, who has been a chaplain with the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, to council members Thursday night. Summey, Cannon and Driggers himself spoke about his new appointment on Friday.

"I don't consider myself an extraordinary man, I am an ordinary man that has accepted an extraordinary position from God and I intend to show people my heart," said Driggers, who is a 30-year law enforcement veteran and former chief deputy for Charleston County.

"I don't know of anybody that has a broader background than Eddie does," said Cannon, who was one of Driggers' first supervisors when he worked with the North Charleston Police Department."North Charleston is in good hands. This is a man that can and will be on the street. He can hit the street and run it and he will be there."

The NAACP has already criticized the mayor for the appointment arguing he should have conducted a national search or at least considered a black officer in the department for the job.  Summey addressed the issue on how he came to choose Driggers for the job.

"As we move forward in a community that has some diversity of concept and attitude, we need to have someone that not only is there to make sure our officers are treated in the fashion they need to be, but they can get into the community and be a community relations person as well," Summey said."When I was looking for that, the one person that kept coming into my mind was Eddie Driggers."

Summey said when Chief Jon Zumalt announced to him that he was going to retire, Summey felt that he needed to move forward with someone that could bring the department forward in the years to come.

"We are in a time that's going to take different demands on us as individuals and I am up for the challenge," Driggers said. "First and foremost, I am a team player and I intend to show people my heart."

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