Position Vacancies Last Updated: Oct 5, 2017 - 5:49:56 PM

Police Chief, City of Charleston, SC
By the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Oct 5, 2017 - 5:42:24 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
The City of Charleston, with a population of 142,848, is the second largest city in the South Carolina. It is located on Charleston Harbor on the state’s southeastern coast and is a primary tourist destination and seaport in the region. The city is approximately 110 square miles and includes over 90 miles of beautiful shoreline. Its vibrant and historic business district covers an area of eight square miles. Incorporated in 1783, Charleston is a unique and attractive city that has earned the designation of being one of the “Best Places to Live” in the United States.

Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, renowned restaurants and hospitality, Charleston is a popular tourist destination and has received many honors. It has been voted #1 Best U.S. City by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for the past six years, as well as Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards for the past four years, including World’s Best City in 2016. Charleston is a perfect year-round destination and attracts visitors and locals to many festivals and events held across the Lowcountry region. Approximately 4.5 million people visit the city annually, generating an estimated economic impact of $3.2 billion.

The last 30 years in Charleston have seen major new investments in the city, with many municipal improvements and a commitment to historic preservation to maintain the city’s unique fabric. The city has two shipping terminals that are part of the fourth-largest container seaport on the East Coast and the thirteenth largest in North America. Charleston has experienced recent growth in its information technology sector, helping to make the region one of the best performing economies in the United States.

City Government

Charleston is governed under a “strong mayor” form of government. The Mayor is the chief executive officer of city government and is elected to four-year terms. The police chief reports directly to the Mayor. The current mayor, John Tecklenburg, took office in 2016. The City Council has 12 members, who are elected for staggered four-year terms from single-member districts.

The Police Department

The Charleston Police Department (CPD) employs 458 sworn officers and 117 non-sworn personnel. With a budget of $48 million, CPD has enjoyed stable leadership, with only two police chiefs in the past 34 years. The department was the first municipal law enforcement agency in the State of South Carolina to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The department is organized into nine teams, comprised of six geographically designated patrol units, a Traffic Unit, a Civil Disturbance Unit, a Family Violence Unit, and a Forensic Services Division. The Crime Information Operations Center (CIOC) serves as a state-of-the-art Real Time Crime Center for the department.

The Police Department holds citizens advisory group meetings throughout the city. Through its Community Outreach Unit, the department has revitalized its efforts to improve the communities and the lives of all Charleston residents, business owners, and at-risk youths. Community partners collaborated with the Police Department on a community initiative titled “The Illumination Project,” an innovative approach to enhancing relationships between police officers and citizens, building trust and legitimacy, and dispelling negative perceptions. The RISEE project (Responsible Inspiring Students Embracing Excellence), which was developed and implemented through community partnerships, brings high school students together to learn critical concepts such as conflict resolution and community policing. After completion, students work with the Police Department on community service projects.

Since 2006, the City has experienced a 64% reduction in Part I crimes and a 24% decline in Part II crimes.

The Ideal Candidate for Police Chief

The City of Charleston is seeking a proven leader with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills who can inspire the confidence of the community and the Police Department as the city’s Police Chief. The successful candidate will be expected to expand upon the community engagement efforts of the department and have a proven track record of working with diverse communities. Candidates must possess exceptional management and communication skills, and must be team players, cultivating an attitude throughout the organization that promotes excellence in policing. The new chief must be well versed in best practices in policing, and have the ability to work collaboratively as a part of the city’s management team in addressing issues of public safety in a growing, tourism-oriented environment.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) in law enforcement, public administration or a related field; plus 10 years of related experience and/or training, of which at least five must be in management or supervision; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Additional specialized leadership education, such as the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), FBI National Academy, or the Southern Police Institute is highly desirable.

Once appointed, the Police Chief must reside within the City of Charleston and obtain police certification in the State of South Carolina.


The salary range is $150,000 to $170,000, based on qualifications. The city offers an excellent benefits package.

How To Apply

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is assisting the city in the selection process. For questions about this position, contact Charlotte Lansinger at 301-639-3020 or email

The position is open until filled. Qualified candidates may apply in confidence and should send a cover letter, résumé, and a list of five references by October 13, 2017 to:

The City of Charleston is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The City of Charleston does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, ethnic origin, sexual preference or handicapped status.

© Copyright 2017 by

Top of Page

Position Vacancies
Latest Headlines
Campus Police Captain / Emergency Preparedness Manager, Metropolitan Community College, KCMO
Associate Vice President – Chief of Police, Clemson University
University Law Enforcement Officer 1, University of Cincinnati
Police Captain, City of DeLand, FL
University Law Enforcement Officer Apprentice, University of Cincinnati
Security Officer 1, University of Cincinnati
Chief of Campus Police, the 3 College Campus Police Department
Special Agent,the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
Captain, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Chief of School Police & District Security, the Palm Beach County School District

NOBLE News Online is a publication of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
Hubert T. Bell, Jr. National Office Complex | 4609-F Pinecrest Office Park Drive | Alexandria, VA 22312-1442
(703)658-1529 | (703)658-9479 Fax |