Bluffton Police Chief resigning from position

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Bluffton Police Chief Stephenie Price is resigning from her position.

The Town of Bluffton says her last day will be on or before Sept. 15. Town Manager Stephen Steese has named Captain Scott Chandler interim chief.

“The Town has accepted Chief Price’s resignation,” Steese said. “Stephenie Price is a highly trained officer who was invested in policing best practices,” Steese said. “The programs she initiated will continue to provide future outcomes for the Bluffton Police Department.”

Steese also said the focus quickly shifts to filling her role.

“I feel that we have a great opportunity to get someone in here that will be a great fit for the community and be what we need to take the police department forward.”

Price has been with the Bluffton Police Department for nearly two years. In that time she developed a mental health and wellness program and supervised the newly created community mental health advocate position.

The town manager says they hope to continue her work on that front, and they have a list of things they’re looking for in her replacement.

“We always value someone who’s invested in our community. We’re not necessarily the biggest community, but we’re growing and we have people that love the police here and they value police officers that are out in the community and involved… so that will be one. We always look at communication, involvement and we also want to make sure they’re going to be someone that can grow the police department.”

The Bluffton Police Department is one of the few departments in the state to employ this position and Gov. Henry McMaster awarded the department the Order of the Palmetto in 2021, which is the highest civilian award the Governor can give.

The Bluffton Police Department received this award for arresting one of Interpol’s 100 Most Wanted suspects in September 2021.

Price was formerly an assistant chief of police for Savannah. Before that, she served most of her career in the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

The Bluffton Police Department has policing jurisdiction throughout Bluffton’s 54-square miles and employs 60 sworn officers and 15 civilian employees.

The town manager and other staff members will begin reviewing and evaluating the process to begin a search for a new chief of police. The Bluffton Police Department is a department of the Town of Bluffton government and the chief of police reports to Bluffton’s town manager.

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