CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department officially has a new leader.

Charleston City Council voted on Tuesday to confirm Chito Walker as the new chief of police.

“First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to our city council for their support. Trusting me to lead the Charleston Police Department,” Chief Walker said during the council meeting.

Mayor John Tecklenburg announced last week Chief Walker was selected for the role after a nationwide search. Tuesday’s appointment at City Hall made it official.

Chief Walker shared the big moment with his family, colleagues, and the late Chief Luther Reynolds’ wife, Caroline Reynolds.

“I’m genuinely excited about the opportunities that lie before us as we continue to transform our operations to align with the needs of the community,” Chief Walker went on to say.

The newly appointed chief became the interim chief shortly after former Chief Reynolds died in May following a battle with cancer. The Police Executive Research Forum lead a formal search and narrowed it down to five finalists.

Charleston City Councilman Jason Sakran was part of the selection committee.

“He’s going to be representing the City of Charleston well. Really coming, you know, again, on the somber passing of Luther Reynolds. I think they have a very similar leadership style, public servant, leading from their heart with empathy and I think that’s a great quality,” said Councilman Sakran, who represents District Three.

Though new to this role, Chief Walker is a familiar face the Charleston Police Department. Since his start in 2000, he has served as a patrolman, detective, SWAT operator, and supervisor before becoming a deputy chief in 2020.

“Thank you once again for this tremendous opportunity. And I am eager to begin this journey of service with each and every one of you,” the chief said.

Chief Walker was the Deputy Chief of the Procedural Justice and Community Policing Bureau before becoming the interim chief.