Charleston hires Luther Reynolds as new police chief

Luther Reynolds, Charleston Police Chief (WCIV)

It's official—the new police chief for the city of Charleston is a 30- year veteran law enforcement officer.

Luther Reynolds worked his way up the ranks in Maryland for nearly three decades in the force. Now he's making the jump to Charleston to lend a fresh perspective to the holy city.

“He will be the next great police chief of Charleston, South Carolina,” announced Mayor John Tecklenberg on Friday, March 9 at a press conference. “Luther has a servant’s heart, I knew that from the first day I met him and heard his responses to our questions. He is a guardian and will lead Charleston’s police department in that tradition of guardianship.”

Luther Reynolds won the chief position out of a pool of nearly 100 potential candidates.

He'll officially take over from interim chief Jerome Taylor effective April 16.

Before coming to Charleston, Reynolds worked his way through the ranks from patrol officer to the assistant chief of police in Montgomery County, Maryland.

When we interviewed him a month ago, Reynolds said he believes in strong relationships between officers and the public. At today's press conference, he drove that point home.

“My first priority is to build those relationships to build that trust be able to have some of those difficult conversation that debate and discourse and disagreements in a way that we are all better off," Reynolds said.

He and his wife will move to the Lowcountry. Reynolds has two children, one of which attends Coastal Carolina University.

Reynolds also said he looks forward to working on The Illumination Project. He said it would be part of his effort to build relationships between police and citizens.

At his department in Maryland, Reynolds helped oversee a department of 1,300 sworn officers and more than 600 non-sworn personnel serving 1.1 million residents over 500-square miles near Washington, D.C.

View Reynolds' resume below, or CLICK HERE.

Some in the community say they were disappointed that interim chief Taylor was passed over for the permanent position.

Reverend Nelson Rivers said, “We had hoped that...Mr. Taylor would not just be a showpiece. It really makes you discouraged for those who labor in the vineyard and do the good work, get to be trusted, get to be known, but every time that that it’s time for the top job, someone else is brought in.”

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