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City’s top cop celebrates first year

“Family has always been a priority and we have worked very hard this past year on strengthening the family atmosphere at the department. Lastly I would like to thank God for the strength and courage to lead this department and I pray for guidance to continue to lead for years to come.”

Wade Marvin is celebrating his one-year anniversary as the Walterboro Police Department’s chief. The event marks the creation of at least 10 new programs, all of which Marvin created since taking the department’s top leadership role.
Marvin was selected as the city’s chief among a list of candidates, including then interim Chief Ken Dasen. He came to the city from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
“We celebrated his first year with a lunch. I think that gesture alone should tell you how highly we think of him,” said Amye Stivender, spokeswoman and evidence custodian for the police department.
According to Stivender, Marvin has created the department’s first official chaplain department. He also restructured the department’s existing bike patrol program, fixing the bikes and assigning bike patrols to certain neighborhoods in the city.
Marvin has also launched an annual summer community outreach program. As part of this program, Marvin this past summer sent the city’s officers into Walterboro’s parks and apartment complexes, serving ice cream and snow cones to children in each of these areas. The reason for that event is to build community relationships between officers and children and the community, he said. “First and foremost, I would like to thank the City Manager for allowing me to have the opportunity to serve as Chief of Police for the Walterboro Police Department,” said Marvin. “I have had an overwhelming amount of support from the City Manager, City Council, Mayor Young, coworkers, and the community as a whole. With their support, we have been able to work towards making our community a wonderful place to work, live, and raise your family.
“I am grateful to have a wonderful wife and children who have been very supportive during this year,” he said. Marvin’s first year as chief hasn’t been easy. Just weeks after taking the position, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced it was investigating the department. That investigation ended with the arrest of the department’s longtime evidence custodian, who was charged with stealing weapons from the locker. He also made the controversial decision of releasing Dasen from the department.
Marvin replaced that position with Stivender, also making her the city’s first official spokesperson. He then hired a veteran Lowcountry officer – Kevin Martin – to be his assistant chief. “Over the past year we have had several changes, from new administration to new policies,” said Stivender, “but through it all, everyone has taken each challenge as a team.”
“We have worked together to build a strong and professional department,” she said. “The Chief has created an open door policy with his staff and the community. He wants anyone from complainants to victims of crime to know his door is always open and he is there to serve.”
The department is also now running at near full-speed, with Martin and 33 additional officers.
“The department also has body cameras, a first for the department,” said Stivender. “A lot of research was also done to make appropriate changes in updating the policy and procedures manual for us, making us a more modern department,” she said.
“We have worked together to build a strong and professional department. Each year we will strive to meet new goals and continue to build a stronger relationship with our community, especially our youth,” Stivender said. “He has worked very hard over the past year to build stronger relationships with the staff and continues to look for new ways to improve the department as a whole.”

Heather Walters (641 Posts)