By Martine Miller, Mount Pleasant Communications Manager
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (January 29, 2021) - Police Chief Carl Ritchie, the top law enforcement of the fourth largest municipality in the state, has announced his upcoming retirement after 32 years of exceptional service to the Town of Mount Pleasant, effective May 7.
"I thank Chief Ritchie for his service to the Town of Mount Pleasant. Our staff at the Town is called upon to offer superior service. Carl has done exactly that throughout his career and especially during his tenure as police chief. His leadership has been extraordinary, guiding us through good times and great challenges. He was a critical player in the Police Department’s national accreditations and in securing the Department’s place as one of America’s top police agencies. His character and his integrity were always unwavering and his devotion to his officers was exceptional. He has been the steady hand keeping Mount Pleasant safe. Congratulations, Carl, on a job well done," said Mount Pleasant Town Administrator Eric DeMoura.
Chief Ritchie began his career in public service in the United States Air Force in 1984 serving in Security Forces. After leaving active duty, he began his law enforcement career in 1988 at the North Charleston Police Department while serving in the Air Force Reserves as a Special Agent in the Office of Special Investigations.
In 1989, Chief Ritchie joined the Mount Pleasant Police Department as a Patrol Officer and ascended to the position of Chief of Police in 2013. Over the years, he served in numerous assignments to include Major of the Operations Bureau, Uniform Patrol, Traffic, Narcotics, Criminal Investigation, Administrative Services and S.W.A.T.
The breadth and depth of this experience led him to oversee the operational planning of many high-profile national events. From the annual kickoff of the internationally attended Cooper River Bridge Run and the inaugural opening ceremonies of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, to the security of high-profile visitors and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention, Chief Ritchie and his staff flawlessly executed the plans.
In 2015, Chief Ritchie rose to national attention in the aftermath of the Emanuel AME Church shooting of nine parishioners in Charleston. In what became a defining moment in community healing, the chief led more than 10,000 participants in the Unity March over the Ravenel Bridge where mourners held hands and observed a minute of silence, united in their concerns for racial equality and justice.
Chief Ritchie successfully led the Mount Pleasant Police Department to its ninth national reaccreditation, achieving the Gold Standard with Excellence. His commitment to community policing, with initiatives like the Reading Patrol, youth summer camps and health and safety programs, were awarded state and national recognition. The Reading Patrol, staffed by the Chief and his officers, was integral in winning the 2018 All America City award.
“Serving the Town of Mount Pleasant has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Chief Ritchie. “None of it would have been possible without the department’s steadfast and courageous men and women dedicated to the community they protect. I would like to commend the entire police department for their unequalled commitment to excellence. I am equally grateful for the leadership and support the Mayor, Council and the Town Administrator have shown us throughout the years.”
Chief Ritchie is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Criminal Justice Leadership from Liberty University. He holds a Master of Criminal Justice from the Command College of South Carolina at Anderson University, and several criminal justice degrees.