SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) — Police Chief Lenny Gunther took the oath with his family at his side. 

During his speech, Gunther said being police chief will be the most demanding challenge he’s ever encountered but also rewarding.

“To serve our community, a community that has embraced and raised me is an honor. Our community has demanded and deserves a chief that understands it, loves, and will do what’s best for it and everyone in it,” Chief Gunther told the audience. 

22 years ago, Gunther said he never imagined that he would one day be appointed to serve as chief of police.

“I was a younger officer who was concerned with what beat I was going to be assigned to, making sure that I turned in my reports in on time, and making it home safely at the end of shift. But as the days became months, and the months became years, I realized that it wasn’t just a job it was a calling—my calling.”

Chief Gunther was emotional when talking to his sons about his legacy and encouraging them to do the right thing.  

“Every day that I walk out of the door and do my job I try to do it to the best of my ability.  It’s important for me as a father for my son to see that for me doing the right thing. And it’s important for me to leave them with the legacy that they’ll continue in their lifetime doing the right thing, and putting themselves not ahead of people but doing the right thing for people,” Chief Gunther said.   

Gunther served as interim police chief for 5 months. He expressed thanks to the men and women of SPD for the jobs that they do every day and what they’ve accomplished

Now the new chapter begins.

“I will be your shield and stand in front to shield you and beside to serve with you. I will also set the bar high because I believe in you.  I know you will rise to the occasion to serve with honor and compassion and embrace our community that you have sworn to protect.”