CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced the selection of Chito Walker as the city’s next chief of police.

Walker, who has been serving as the Charleston Police Department’s interim chief, was selected as the department’s leader during an announcement held on Wednesday afternoon.

The announcement comes following a nationwide search that was led by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Walker was one of five finalists in that search.

A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Walker began his law enforcement career with the Charleston Police Department in 2000 and was later promoted to deputy chief in March 2020.

He served in various roles including patrolman, detective, SWAT team operator, and supervisor. Deputy Chief Walker currently serves as the Commander of the Procedural Justice and Community Policing Bureau.

“I’d like to thank Chief Walker for his willingness to serve our city in this critical role and for his lifelong dedication to public safety. Charleston is blessed with the most outstanding police department in the nation, so it comes as no surprise that our next great Chief of Police is one of our own,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “I’m confident that Chief Walker’s strong leadership, clear vision and extensive experience make him a natural fit to lead the department, and I look forward to working with him to keep our city and our citizens safe.”

“Serving the citizens of Charleston as a member of the Charleston Police Department has been the honor of a lifetime, and I’m deeply grateful to Mayor Tecklenburg for entrusting me with this responsibility. There’s no question that our department is home to the finest law enforcement professionals in the country, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve as its next leader,” said Chief Walker. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside the remarkable men and women of our department to build trust, promote transparency and keep our community safe.”

The search for a new department leader follows the May 2023 passing of Chief Luther Reynolds following a battle with a rare form of bone cancer.

Walker began serving as interim police chief over the summer.

Charleston city council will vote to confirm Walker’s appointment as police chief on October 10.