Former Bluffton Capt. Angel Tubbs will emerge from three months of retirement to serve as an interim replacement for outgoing Police Chief David McAllister, town manager Anthony Barrett announced at a monthly council meeting Tuesday.
Tubbs, who spent seven years with the Bluffton department during a 25-year career in South Carolina law enforcement, said she was eager to serve her town while it continues its search for a full-time replacement.
"It's definitely very gratifying, and I'm honored that the town manager has that faith in me to bring me back," said Tubbs.
Barrett also outlined the process by which he intends to recruit a new chief to replace McAllister, who announced in May he would leave the department in August after more than six years to take a private-sector security job in Atlanta.
After receiving 139 applications for the vacancy, Barrett said he has narrowed the pool to six finalists, who will meet with him and a "citizen panel" August 16.
The following day, applicants will also meet individually with council members and senior town staff members.
Barrett said he incorporated suggestions from Mayor Lisa Sulka and council members in selecting Matt Green, Rev. Paul Hamilton, Julie O'Donnell, Jim Sauter and Allen Ward to serve on the panel, which will offer feedback on each of the candidates.
Barrett said he hopes to appoint the new chief in the week following the meetings, and expects the new chief to report for duty within 30 days of that announcement.
In the meantime, the role will be filled by Tubbs, who said she has "very big shoes to fill."
In his final address to the council, McAllister said he would leave with fond memories of the town he served.
"I'm going to miss a whole lot about the job and a whole lot about this community, but I know I'm leaving it better than I found it."
He also praised his interim successor.
"I feel good leaving knowing she's going to be running the force. She was an outstanding police officer, an outstanding number two for me for many years, and this is an excellent opportunity for the Town of Bluffton."
In other action Tuesday, council: