CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) –Chief Chito Walker took his Oath of Office on Wednesday, officially making him the new leader of the Charleston Police Department.

The special moment was marked with a ceremony at Riley Park, with friends, family, and law enforcement in attendance.

“As I step into this role, my vision is clear. I pledge to lead with integrity and purpose,” said Chief Walker.

The ceremony came one month after Mayor John Tecklenburg announced Chief Walker was selected for the role after a nationwide search. The new chief succeeds the late Chief Luther Reynolds who died in May after a battle with cancer.

Chief Walker has served for the City of Charleston since 2000. He worked as a patrolman, detective, SWAT Team operator, and supervisor, before becoming a deputy chief in 2020.

History was made when he was given his new title.

“He’s the first chief in modern history who matriculated up through the whole organization rather than being brought in from the outside,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

Longtime friend, Eddie Lesane Jr., was one of the speakers who paid tribute to the chief. He talked about Chief Walker’s ability to overcome a serious crash on the job, early in his career.

“It took a lot of hard work, and it took family. It took faith in God and perseverance for him because he could’ve gone another direction,” Lesane told News 2.

The challenges and accomplishments lead Chief Walker to where he is today.

“It’s a task I don’t take lightly. Charleston is my heart and I love this community and I love this police department,” Chief Walker said.

The chief previously served as the interim chief before taking on the position permanently.