Walker | Photo provided.

Charleston Police Department Deputy Chief Chito Walker is the agency’s new interim chief as the city conducts a nationwide search to replace the late Chief Luther Reynolds.

Walker, along with two other deputy chiefs, Jack Weiss and Dustin Thompson, has been sharing the responsibility of leading the department since Reynolds entered hospice care May 17. Walker reportedly was chosen as interim because he is the most senior member of the three.

“Chief Walker, like our other very fine deputy chiefs, is an outstanding police professional who shares Chief Luther Reynolds’ values and vision, and is ready on day one to provide the strong leadership and clear chain of command our officers need as they continue the work of keeping our city safe,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said Wednesday. “I’m confident that our police department is in good hands with Chief Walker at the helm, and I’m grateful for his willingness to serve our city in this critical role.”

Walker has been with the Charleston Police Department since 2000 working as a patrolman, detective and member of the SWAT team. He was promoted to deputy chief in March 2020.

In a statement, Walker said, “I would like to extend my gratitude to Mayor Tecklenburg for entrusting me with this opportunity, and to the remarkable men and women of the Charleston Police Department for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to keeping our city safe. Public safety is a shared responsibility, and I’m committed to working hand-in-hand with members of our community to maintain a safe and secure environment for all.”

The city announced in June that it would partner with the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum to conduct the search for the next permanent chief and sait it hopes to present final candidates in October. 

In other City Paper headlines:

CP: Charleston launches ID verification program to catch underage drinkers. The city of Charleston on Wednesday launched a permanent ID verification program in partnership with Intellicheck to try to eliminate underage drinking, following a six-month pilot program that tested a verification tool in 30 downtown bars and restaurants.

CP: Cool hotel bars for Charleston locals to enjoy. Some of Charleston’s most frequented places to stay are flush with bars, restaurants and cool shops for even locals to enjoy.

In other news from around the state:

Price, fugitive for weeks after early release revoked, captured in N.Y. Fugitive Jeroid Price of South Carolina was captured Wednesday without violence at a New York City apartment after 11 weeks on the run since the S.C. Supreme Court revoked an unannounced deal that cut 16 years off of his 35-year murder sentence.

Drunk driving convictions bring new ignition interlock requirements to S.C. Under the new law, anyone convicted of driving under the influence will have to breathe into a device that confirms no measurable alcohol levels exist before they can operate their vehicle.

Labor rift deepens between dockworkers, McMaster. Charleston’s unionized dockworkers and Gov. Henry McMaster are digging in their heels over a labor dispute that has left the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in Charleston largely inactive. A National Labor Relations Board decision that upheld unionized dockworkers’ right to exclusively staff the cranes at the terminal is pending, with an alternative so-called hybrid plan backed by McMaster.

6 auto-pedestrian accidents in 2023 raises concerns among leaders. Charleston leaders launched a “Heads Up” safety campaign to help prevent automobile and pedestrian accidents. Charleston police reported 259 accidents between cars and people in the past three years, with 70% of them sending pedestrians to the hospital. As of June 2023, six people have died in auto-pedestrian accidents.

Mount Pleasant town officials consider banning e-bikes. The Town of Mount Pleasant is planning to restrict the use of electric-assisted bicycles and ban them from sidewalks after a resident said one killed her dog.

New waterfront business coming to Charleston, retail storefront coming to King St. Site plans show a proposed culinary venture called Stono’s on the edge of the Stono River on John’s Island. Meanwhile, New York fashion retailer Loeffler Randall looks to open in the fall on King Street.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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