Bluffton Police Chief resigns, accepts job in Tennessee

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Bluffton’s police chief is moving out of the Lowcountry and heading to Tennessee.

Police Chief Joseph Manning resigned after his recent selection as Chief of Police in Sevierville, Tennessee, town officials say.

His last day on the job will be on or before May 9.

He released the following statement in a press release:

I am very sad to leave Bluffton after how wonderful and supportive the community, Mayor Lisa Sulka and council members have been with me from the day I was hired as the Deputy Chief through my tenure as Chief.  However, Sevierville is a city my family and I have loved and visited for decades. There was much thought and prayer that went into applying and ultimately accepting this position.

Chief Manning has been with the Bluffton Police Department since September 2013. He was appointed as police chief in July of last year.

Manning helped initiate specialized units such as the Strategic Response Team, the Collision Reconstruction Unit, Special Investigations Unit, and the K9 Team.

He also led the town’s emergency response team through Tropical Storm Irma and the snow storm in January.

“I appreciate all Chief Manning has accomplished for the police department, and most importantly, providing a safe environment for those who live and work in Bluffton,” said Bluffton Town Manager Marc Orlando, adding, “We wish him well in his new position.”

Before Manning’s departure, Orlando will appoint an interim chief of police.

The search process for a new chief will begin soon. Internal and external applicants will be able to apply.

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