Joseph Manning, deputy chief at the Bluffton Police Department, will be promoted to police chief starting July 1, replacing Joey Reynolds, who is retiring, according a town release issued Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement comes one week after town officials confirmed to The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette that Reynolds was retiring after nearly five years in the position. The next day, town manager Marc Orlando told the newspapers he had posted the chief job listing internally, noting that if a candidate wasn’t found within the department, he would “widen the search as much as needed.”
“Major Manning has demonstrated his ability to lead our Police Department,” Orlando said in Wednesday’s release. “His unrelenting work during Hurricane Matthew, his day-to-day ability to foster and support our community policing program along with his extensive law enforcement experience and education make Maj. Manning a natural and obvious choice to move into the role as our next police chief.”
Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka and the Town Council support Manning’s promotion, according to the release. Manning in the release said he is “grateful to have the support of the mayor, council, and town manager.”
“Bluffton is an amazing town where I look forward to working tirelessly for the community,” Manning said. “It has been a long-term goal to serve as police chief, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as well as the working relationships I will continue to build with town employees and the officers I work alongside.”
Reynolds’ annual salary is $118,059. Manning’s new salary will be $106,000, according to police department spokeswoman Joy Nelson.
Reynolds, 60, who spent years working in North Carolina before becoming Bluffton’s police chief in September 2012, plans to find a job in the private sector closer to his family, Sulka said last week. His last day as chief is June 30.
Manning, 53, has worked as the deputy police chief since September 2013. He began his law enforcement career in 1984 in Florida, where he supervised deputies in patrol, narcotics, internal investigations and counter-terrorism intelligence over a 27-year span, according to the release.