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Charleston police chief Mullen to retire in August

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Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen announced today that he is retiring on Aug. 1 after more than 10 years leading the department.

“Over the past several months as I have reflected on this awesome opportunity and honor, I have determined that it is time for me to transition to a new segment of my life’s journey and allow a new chief to lead this wonderful department and city through its next chapter of growth, development and opportunities,” Mullen wrote in his resignation letter to Mayor John Tecklenburg.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen talks with Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, as people move from Tent City to the transitional housing center in April 2016. (Photo/File)The police chief came to Charleston in October 2006 from the Virginia Beach Police Department, where he served as deputy chief of police. Mullen, an Air Force veteran, began his law enforcement career as a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in 1982.

During his tenure in Charleston, Mullen led several initiatives to modernize the police department, including introducing the Compstat program, which helps law enforcement agencies map crime and identify problems.

Mullen also served the city during the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and in its wake helped launch the Illumination Project, which aimed to strengthen ties between police and the Charleston community.

“Few police officers of Chief Mullen’s generation have achieved so much — and fewer still have done so while winning the near-universal admiration and respect of the city and citizens they serve,” Tecklenburg said in a statement.

He added that there will be a “wide-ranging national search” for Mullen’s replacement.

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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