The town of Bluffton is posting job listings seeking a new police chief and settling details of the candidate search.
Current Bluffton Police Chief David McAllister told the town last week he will resign effective Aug. 1 to take a private-sector job in Atlanta after more than six years with the department.
Town manager Anthony Barrett is charged with hiring staff, but Town Council members say they will be involved in interviews after he narrows the field of candidates.
Barrett wrote in an email that the community also will get the chance to meet finalists. If the process extends beyond Aug. 1, Barrett will appoint an acting chief from either within the police department or outside of it, he wrote.
Mayor Lisa Sulka was a councilwoman when McAllister was hired -- about six months after the previous police chief stepped down amid internal investigations into alleged misconduct and mismanagement. An interim chief, Alex Ferguson, led the department as the town took its time choosing the right chief, she said.
"I think we're going to focus on recruiting in the Southeast but I think we'll get a lot of candidates, internally, locally, regionally," Sulka said. "It's a great situation to step in to -- a lot better than what (McAllister) stepped in to."
The department has 33 full-time officers, three administrative staff members and a $3.8 million budget. It is housed in a new law enforcement center at Buckwalter Place.
Sulka said officers and the public will be invited to help vet the candidates the position, although the details of how have not yet been finalized."It's a very high-profile position, so we want to get involved even if it is technically under (Barrett's) parameters," Sulka said.
McAllister says his resignation marks the end of his 20-year career in law enforcement.
Sulka said McAllister told her when he was hired that most chiefs don't last longer than five years, but that she's sad to see him go.
"He's going to be hard to replace," Sulka said. "He knows the fabric of the community. He's a good guy with a great family, but you've got to respect what he and his family want to do."
Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/LCBlotter.