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Blake finishes as runner-up for new police chief job

Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake won't be going to Bluffton, South Carolina, as police chief, having finished as runner-up to a candidate from Arkansas.


Bluffton Town Manager Marc Orlando selected Christopher Chapmond as Bluffton’s next chief of police, the town announced on Tuesday. Chapmond, who is currently the assistant police chief for Hot Springs, Arkansas, will begin by Sept. 1. 
“Town leaders and staff are excited about Christopher Chapmond being hired as Bluffton’s new chief of police,” Mayor Lisa Sulka said. “Throughout the two-month interview process, Chapmond demonstrated the leadership, law enforcement management skills and energy to advance the Bluffton Police Department to a higher level of public safety and community policing within our Town.”
Orlando said the Town received more than 60 applicants from 24 states and two countries.
“Bluffton’s search for a new police chief introduced Town leaders to numerous talented applicants with extensive law enforcement experience,” Orlando said. “Dozens of people provided input to this selection process to include Town Council members, members of a citizens panel and the general public who attended the July 18 public forum.  I believe Christopher Chapmond is the right fit for the Town to take our police department to its next stage of professional growth as an organization.” 
The Town held its final interviews on July 18, which included a public forum held at the Rotary Community Center and an interview with the town manager.
During the forum Blake, who has been a police chief for 17 years, described Hendersonville as “basically Bluffton in the mountains," Bluffton Today reported.
“For 17 and a half years, I’ve always put service first. Law enforcement is obviously important, but we have to serve and protect,” Blake told townspeople at the forum. “My department does so much more than take calls. We change flat tires. For example, if you come to Hendersonville and you’re asking for directions, we don’t give directions. My guys are taught to say, ‘Follow me.’ We are high on service."