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Pawleys Island: Town casts a narrow net in search for new police chief

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Pawleys Island’s most wanted isn’t a criminal, it’s a replacement for Police Chief Guy Osborne.

The town began its search this week for someone to take charge of the five-member police department when Osborne retires on Labor Day. He started work July 3, 2002, in time for the Fourth of July Parade.

Mayor Bill Otis said he wants to have a new chief selected before July 4 in order to provide a first-hand look at Pawleys at peak season.

Osborne was on vacation this week, but has said that his biggest regret is that he didn’t come to Pawleys Island earlier in his 35-year law enforcement career. Town officials say their biggest regret is that Osborne, 66, is retiring. He is the town’s longest serving chief.

Osborne came when the department was a two-man operation. It now has four full-time and four part-time officers plus the chief.

The ad for the job that the town began running this week looks for a “patrolling chief of police.” It describes the job as “a hands-on position involving supervision, department management and active patrolling.”

Otis said Osborne came up with the job description, offering to amend it if there were areas where Town Council thought he was deficient. “Not a thing,” Otis told him.

The town is limiting its search to the South Carolina coast with ads in newspapers from Myrtle Beach to Charleston. Otis said the town didn’t want those ads posted online.

Osborne “thinks we’re going to get a pretty big response. I agree,” Otis said.

There were 49 applicants when Osborne was hired.

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