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Surfside swears in new chief of police

Kenneth Hoffman's wife Shannon holds the Bible as he is sworn in as the Town of Surfside Beach Chief of Police on July 27, 2017.
Kenneth Hoffman's wife Shannon holds the Bible as he is sworn in as the Town of Surfside Beach Chief of Police on July 27, 2017. jlee@thesunnews.com

SURFSIDE BEACH--Kenneth Hofmann was sworn in as the new chief of Surfside Beach police on Thursday.

“I believe that you’re either the front lines, or your job is to support the front lines, and that will always be my goal,” Hofmann said to a packed room at town hall.

Hofmann said he intended to continue a community-oriented policing strategy that was championed by his successor, and touted programs like Coffee with a Cop and the Citizen’s Police Academy.

He also said police would have an increased social media presence and that he planned to focus on quality of life issues. Hoffman recently made headlines announcing a sting operation on several massage parlors in Surfside Beach, which led to four arrests on prostitution-related charges.

“I want everybody to be happy and feel safe in their homes and enjoy...what an awesome little town we have here,” he said.

Hofmann had served as interim top cop since Surfside’s prior chief, Rodney Keziah, stepped down in January. He has worked at the department since 2007.

”I think he’s gonna do a great job,” Councilman Tim Courtney, a former police officer, said.

The swearing in ceremony was attended by other area law enforcement officials, including Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock, Horry County Sheriff Philip Thompson and Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.

“Chief Hofmann recognizes the need for comprehensive, community policing and appreciates the quality of life issues that are important to our residents and visitors. He is, clearly, theright person for this position,” Town Administrator Micki Fellner said in a statement.

Several heads of area law enforcement agencies have retired or stepped down in roughly the past year--at Horry County police, Myrtle Beach police and North Myrtle Beach police.

Chloe Johnson: 843-626-0381, @_ChloeAJ

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