Charleston Police Chief candidates to meet with city leaders, community members

The five final candidates for the City of Charleston’s Chief of Police are set to meet with city leaders and the community Monday.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:43 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:49 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The five final candidates for the City of Charleston’s Chief of Police are set to meet with city leaders and the community Monday.

“They’re all excellent candidates,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says. “We had many more applications, and we’re down to what we feel are the best applications. I feel great about them.”

The five candidates will be meeting with Tecklenburg and the city council for a special council meeting Monday at 8:30 a.m. After a breakfast and meet and greet, city council will enter executive session and will be meeting individually with each of the finalists. Then, there will be three panels made up of community members who will also interview all the candidates.

After that, each of them will have a chance to talk at a press conference.

Those five candidates include three who are current Charleston Police Department employees.

There is Chito Walker, who has been the interim Police Chief of the Charleston Police Department since July and has been with the department for his entire 23-year career.

Next is Jason Bruder, who is the Commander over the Charleston Police Department’s Community Oriented Policing Division. He has been with Charleston Police for 21 years.

Then there is Jack Weiss, who is currently a Deputy Chief of Police with the Charleston Police Department. He has held this position since 2021 but has been with Charleston Police for 25 years.

Outside of the department, the city is considering two candidates.

First, there’s Shunta Boston, who’s been the Assistant Chief of the Sun Prairie Police Department in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin since 2021. Before that, she served for nearly 26 years as a member of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Police Department.

Robert Bage rounds out the list of candidates. He’s been the Police Chief in Fort Walton, Florida since 2019. Before that, he served 20 years with the North Miami Police Department.

When discussing all of these candidates and who he envisions to be the next leader of the Charleston Police Department, Tecklenburg says he’s looking for qualities that were exemplified by Chief Luther Reynolds, who served as the city’s Chief of Police until he died following a battle with cancer.

“Number one, that’s professionalism and knowledge of the job of policing,” Tecklenburg says. “But secondly, having the heart for the community, community policing and leadership skills in general.”

In terms of a timeline of when a final decision will be made, there’s nothing concrete, Tecklenburg says. After Monday, he will be given recommendations from the panels and city council, he’ll then assess and make his own recommendation back to city council for them to approve.