New SC Chief Preaches About Love; Blacks See ‘Buddy-Buddy’ Hire


The new police in North Charleston, S.C., spoke about love, not crime and public safety, when he was introduced last week to City Council in the city of 100,000, South Carolina’s third largest. The Charleston Post and Courier said Eddie Driggers, 58, is a retired law enforcer who is scheduled to be ordained an Episcopal minister next month. He appeared before the council wearing a windbreaker with “Chaplain” printed across the back. He was picked by Mayor Keith Summey, a personal friend, without the customary search process. The appointment apparently requires no approval beyond Summey’s. He starts work Jan. 1, replacing a retiring chief.

“From the person on the street to the richest person in the area, it’s important for people to know they are loved,” said Driggers. “I intend to show (police officers) my heart, so that they can show others that they care.” Some black leaders in North Charleston, including state Sen. Robert Ford, say residents are upset that other candidates didn’t have an opportunity to apply. Ford called it a “buddy-buddy” hire. “It’s his choice to make, but you can’t do that anymore,” Ford said. “Not in 2012, not in a major city.” Summey replied, “I’m not going to waste $50,000 on a national search when I know we have the right man for the job.”

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