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Andrews police chief fired again; SLED investigates

ANDREWS, S.C. (WCBD) - The mayor of the town of Andrews fired the police chief Friday after placing him on administrative leave and conducting an internal investigation. 

Mayor Frank McClary sat down with News 2 and said he was disappointed he had to terminate Andrew's, now previous, police chief, Mark Whitfield. 

"Following an internal review after some matters were brought to my attention that were inconsistent with the town's policies and order of discipline of the town, we had to depart ways with Mr. Whitfield," McClary said. 

McClary didn't go into detail about the investigation. He said the details are private due to personnel reasons. McClary said this isn't the first time the department has had to fire a police chief. 

"Unfortunately Andrews has had a history of chiefs of police being fired or relieved for whatever the cause," McClary said. "That's not good but we are all held to a standard."

Whitfield was sworn in as police chief June 30, 2017. McClary said Whitfield was at a training camp when he heard about Whitfield's possible misconduct. He said as soon as Whitfield returned to work, they placed him on paid administrative leave, conducted an internal investigation, and within 24 hours, he was terminated. 

Following his termination, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, SLED, launched a seperate investigation after being requested to do so by the Georgetown Sheriff's Office. 

"SLED was requested to investigate allegations involving the police chief of the town of andrews, we have assigned an agent to that case and that work is underway," said SLED spokesman, Thom Berry. 

McClary says Whitfield made a personal choice and it now suffering the consequences. He says the department will undergo training workshops to serve as a reminder of what should and should not be conducted at work. 

Although the town is without a police chief currently, McClary is reassuring the town that they are safe. 

"There's no gap in the security and protection of the town, and we'll make sure that we're doing that and covering and protecting the citizens of the town," McClary said. 

McClary said he is in no rush to hire a new police chief. He said he is taking his time to make sure he picks the right fit. There are currently eight police officers working for the department. There will be nine once a new chief is hired. 

As of now, Lieutenant Selica Williams is serving as interim police chief. 

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