ROCK HILL Two of Rock Hills police captains will rotate as acting police chief in December as the search for retiring Chief John Gregorys replacement continues.
Gregorys last day as chief is Saturday, and then captains Chris Watts and Steve Parker will split chief duties.
Gregory announced on Oct. 8 that he will retire after spending 40 years in law enforcement, including nine years as Rock Hills top cop.
The vacant position has attracted about 100 applications from as far as Arizona, City Manager David Vehaun said.
I feel good weve gotten the word out on a nationwide basis, said Vehaun, adding that applications are still rolling in.
The search has moved as quickly as possible, he said, and the city will likely hire Gregorys successor by early January.
The department doesnt like being without a chief, he said.
The National Association of Chiefs of Police will assist Rock Hill by conducting in-depth background checks on finalists, Vehaun said.
Vehaun held two input sessions in November to solicit public opinion on the hiring process. The city also conducted an online survey.
Employees and officers with the Rock Hill police department have also met with Vehaun since the search for a new chief began.
The departments leaders, he said, feel comfortable with the police captains temporarily taking over chief duties.
Gregory, 57, was hired in 2003 as Rock Hills first black police chief. His tenure has been noted for the addition of new technology, more neighborhood-focused police patrols through the Weed and Seed program and outfitting a street crimes unit with new officers.
Vehaun expects many of the candidates for chief will come from within Rock Hills police force.
Gregory made major changes to the departments leadership position when he arrived from High Point, N.C..
One of his greatest accomplishments, Gregorys said, was helping create and develop leaders within the agency.
Anna Douglas • 803-329-4068