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Cayce hires 29 year police veteran as new Chief of Police

Deputy Chief Chris Cowan is currently a Deputy Chief for the Richland County Sheriff’s...
Deputy Chief Chris Cowan is currently a Deputy Chief for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.(The City of Cayce)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:49 AM EDT
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CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - The City of Cayce has hired a 29-year law enforcement veteran as its new Chief of Police.

On Thursday, Deputy Chief Chris Cowan was announced as the next Chief of Police for the City of Cayce. In July, current Director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, Byron Snellgrove, announced his retirement after 38 years in South Carolina Law Enforcement.

Cowan will work alongside Director Snellgrove until his departure in December.

The City of Cayce has also announced that the Department, which has housed police, fire and K9 operations for the last 41 years, is in the process of establishing a separate Cayce Police Department and the Cayce Fire Department.

Cowan is currently a Deputy Chief for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and works with local, state and federal partners in South Carolina in developing law enforcement, professional development and community based initiatives.

“Cowan’s impeccable professional standards and qualifications made him stand out among the many that applied for the Chief of Police position,” said Cayce City Manager, Tracy Hegler. “We are thrilled to announce the hiring of a decorated leader from what was recently named the nation’s top department from the National Sheriff’s Association.”

Commissioned as a United States Naval Officer, Cowan received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and a master’s Certificate from the Australian Institute of Police Management.

“I am so happy that we were able to select Deputy Chief Cowan as the City’s incoming Chief of Police. He will lead our Department with the community-based policing and high-level professionalism that the City of Cayce is known for,” said Byron Snellgrove, Director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety. “He is someone I have worked with for many years, and I know he will bring the same level of compassion and service to this Department that he has to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.”

Cowan has also worked internationally to develop policing programs and initiatives. Working with the London Metropolitan Police, the Staffordshire England Police, Queensland Police Service, Australia, The Australia Federal Police, Hong Kong Police, Bulgarian Police Service and Rheinland Polizei, and nationally with the Los Angeles Police Department, New York Police Department, and the North Carolina Justice Academy.

“The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is very proud of our Deputy Chief Chris Cowan being selected as Cayce’s Police Chief”, said Sheriff Leon Lott. “I have watched Chris grow in his career for the past 25 years. He’s excelled in every position he earned at the Sheriff’s Department. Today, is like watching one of your children move from home to their career goal. I have the upmost confidence that Chris will serve the citizens of Cayce with loyalty, professionalism, and integrity, just as he has done for Richland County.”

Cowan has also held several statewide leadership roles in South Carolina, which include President of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, President of the Blythewood Rotary Club, Chairperson for Crimestoppers of the Midlands, and a charter member of the South Carolina Crime stoppers Council.

Cowan is also a recipient of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Officer of the year, a two time recipient of the Southeastern Crime stoppers Coordinator of the Year award, a two-time Rotarian of the Year and The American Lawman Magazine Officer of the Quarter.

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