Charleston residents pitch ideas for new police and fire chiefs

Charleston residents pitch ideas for new police and fire chiefs

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The search for both fire and police chiefs continues in the City of Charleston.

The City's Public Safety Committee discussed the two firms contracted to help in the hiring process, the same which helped hire the last police and fire chiefs.

Mayor John Tecklenburg says the process of hiring a new chief takes about four months. He's hopeful the city will fill both positions by the end of the year.

Locals were very opinionated when it came to finding a new leader of the police department.

Robert Singleton has lived in Charleston his entire life.

He said he is content with the City of Charleston Police Department right now.

"I was on a house on Coming Street since I was a little boy, a baby actually," Singleton said. "They're [City of Charleston police] pretty fair."

Tecklenburg says hiring a new police chief is a team effort.

"What do we as a city want for the next police chief of Charleston?" Tecklenburg asked.

Singleton and another Charleston resident, Tristan Fields, had nothing bad to say about retired police chief Greg Mullen. They did however say they want a more personable police chief to replace him.

"A strong leader that you get to hear more from," Fields said. "I never even knew who our police chief was."

"Sometimes they should be on patrol. I think that kind of police chief would be better," Singleton added. "They would be in touch with everybody instead of doing paperwork all the time."

Live 5 cameras, however, saw the former chief out at several functions.

"I think that's an excellent attribute for the next chief of Charleston," Tecklenburg said.

Fields said showing your face around the city will help build those community relations.

"Set up in the streets so you have a face-to-face interaction with them and know exactly who they are," Fields said. "We're all in a pretty small city and working together to make it the safest it can be."

Singleton added the new police chief should know Charleston inside and out.

"They should be promoted from within. They know the system and Charleston," Singleton said.

"We're just going to do our best to choose the best person to lead our department going forward," Tecklenburg said.

Former police chief Greg Mullen retired this past Monday. Former fire chief Karen Brack resigned in March. Her last day was in April.

The Public Safety Commission plans to have both a new fire chief and police chief by the end of the year.

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