BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – After a lengthy battle with cancer, the chief of the Beaufort Police Department has died.
Matthew Clancy, who spent more than a decade as chief, was 56.
According to Beaufort PD, Clancy died peacefully at his home Wednesday evening of complications of neuroendocrine cancer.
“I speak for all members of our department when I say that we lost a great man and tremendous leader, but we are better men and women for having had the opportunity to have worked alongside him,” a post from the department reads. “Chief Clancy, it is your time to rest. We will take it from here.”
Deputy Police Chief Dale McDorman has been selected to serve as interim chief.
Clancy grew up in Long Island, New York. He graduated from The Citadel in 1986 and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Clancy served in various billets in the Marines, including at Parris Island.
He left the force in 1993 to begin a career in law enforcement. Clancy went on to serve the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office as deputy sheriff, corporal, and sergeant until 1997 when he moved to the Beaufort Police Department.
He worked as a patrol officer, criminal investigator, investigative lieutenant and deputy chief before being promoted to chief in 2009.
“Chief Clancy was one of the finest public servants I have ever worked with,” said Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop. “He put his stamp on the city in many ways, and he made our Police Department stronger with his leadership. His legacy is the strong department he leaves behind.”
Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyersling remembered the chief as a man who lead by great example.
“Chief Clancy was a humble, gentle, focused, disciplined giant and anyone who dealt with him, on either side of the law, respected Matt’s gentle though forceful direct, honest, fair approach and strong leadership,” Keyersling said.
Clancy loved sports cars and his motorcycle. He was frequently seen walking Missy, a shelter dog Beaufort PD adopted in 2017. Missy often accompanied the chief home to spend time with the family’s other dog, Rudy.
The chief is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two sons, Tyler and Connor.
The police department is working with Clancy’s family and will release information on services once arrangements are made.