Luther Reynolds named new Charleston police chief

Luther Reynolds named new Charleston police chief
Luther Reynolds
Luther Reynolds, tapped as the new Charleston police chief. (Source: Montgomery County Police Department)
Luther Reynolds, tapped as the new Charleston police chief. (Source: Montgomery County Police Department)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department has a new leader.

Luther Reynolds was named police chief Friday in a press conference with Mayor John Tecklenburg.

"No matter where you go, it can always be better," Reynolds said."So my challenge will be to take my education, my experiences, my mistakes over the years, learn from them and bring those home to make this police department and this city even better than it already is."

Reynolds, who was one of four finalists for the job, says the new job comes with new challenges.

"There's certainly challenges and different priorities," he said."But for me, my biggest challenge is going to build relationships, to get to know people, to get out in the communities. To know the communities."

When it comes to fighting crime, Reynolds says it begins with building public trust in the police department.

"We need people to report crimes," he said."A lot of time crime is woefully under reported. Particularly in those communities that don't necessarily trust the police as much."

The new chief talked about the much publicized audit of the police department's practices.

Reynolds believes a lot of good can come out of the audit.

"We come out on the other end with a strong relationship, that we're not fractured," he said."But that we really have a stronger relationship, a higher level of confidence in the police department."

"I think his biggest challenge is stepping into a police department that's well operating, doing great," said Charleston City Councilman Peter Shahid."It's got a lot of good things going for it. He's going to have to carry that forward."

Reynolds said a big part of the job is to remember you are serving others.

He said it's not about being selfish, it's about being selfless.

"A big part of that is trying to listen," Reynolds said."We have a job to do and when we're done, we leave it better than we found it."

Reynolds will begin his duties on April 16.

The move comes after former police chief Greg Mullen retired in June 2017.

Mullen led the agency for more than 10 years.

Reynolds was previously the assistant police chief in Montgomery County, Maryland.  He started work with that department in 1988 and held his most recent position since 2013. Reynolds also has his master's degree in information systems technology from Johns Hopkins University.

Reynolds oversaw a $270 million budget and 900 employees, according to his resume. He began as a patrol officer before he was promoted to lieutenant in 1998. He was named a captain in 2000 and worked numerous positions in the personnel as well as training and education division of the department.

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