North Charleston's police chief on the job for 90 days says 'it's a blessing'

North Charleston's police chief on the job for 90 days says 'it's a blessing'

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston's new police chief is about to hit the 90 day mark on the job.

Reggie Burgess took the reigns of the police department in January.

He sat down Thursday to talk about the police department he's been a part of for 29 years.

Burgess says he hit the ground running the night he was sworn in, going on a ride-a-long with one of his officers right after the ceremony.

The chief prefers to be on the streets and not behind a desk.

"That's where everything happens," Burgess said. "In my role right now I believe I have to lead from the top."

Burgess says that means going into the community to be seen and heard.

Burgess, who grew up in North Charleston, has already marched a few times in neighborhoods where murders have happened.

One murder hit close to home in 2010 when his own nephew was killed. He marches to show the victims' families that he cares.

"I do not want a child or anybody to be murdered in this city without somebody saying that wasn't the right thing to do, that was wrong," Burgess said.

Last year there were a record 35 murders in North Charleston.

So far this year there have been just two.

The chief says the only way to reduce the crime rate is to get people talking to police officers.

"We as law enforcement in the community have to remove the evil out of the community so that the kids and families can enjoy their lives," he said.

Charleston Farms neighborhood president Dave Crane has noticed a difference with Burgess in charge.

"Right now I would give him an A," Crane said. "I think he is actually bringing the black and white community closer together."

It's high marks for the new chief who hopes to leave his mark on the city.

"I'm looking at if I am the chief of police am I doing enough to make it safer for those folks living in the city?" Burgess said.

Burgess replaced Eddie Driggers who led the police department for five years before becoming a special assistant to Mayor Keith Summey.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.