GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–For nearly a year, the City of Greenville has not had a permanent police chief. On Friday, the new chief was sworn in and it’s a very familiar face.
Greenville Police Department’s Howie Thompson thought he was headed out to lunch with the city manager for his birthday.
“He said let’s go to lunch and that’s what I took it as,” Thompson said.
Instead, Thompson walked out to his co-workers and family, and a promotion. Greenville City Manager John McDonough explained Thompson’s qualifications.
“He served as a liaison to the citizens advisory panel, engaged with the community, developed an outstanding relationship with Sheriff Lewis,” McDonough said.
Thompson has spent nearly 25 years in law enforcement.
“He’s served in virtually every leadership role within the department,” McDonough said.
The new chief nearly speechless at the surprise.
“I am truly honored I appreciate the city manager and city council and mayor have given me the support and allowing me the chance to do this,” Thompson said.
He wanted the position, but had no idea he was getting it.
“I just love this place love the city of the citizens and want to help make this department the best in the nation,” Thompson said.
Other members of the community say Thompson is the right man for the job.
“Howie grew up in the community and he knows a very very well he knows what the issues are,” Fire Chief Steve Kovalick said.
And said he has the power to unite and work with other entities.
“And I think that’s going to make the counties emergency services forward in a very expedient way,” Kovalick said.
As for Thompson, he said this birthday gift will be hard to beat.
“This is truly going to be the best one ever,” Thompson said.
Thompson has served as interim chief with the department since Chief Ken Miller resigned last fall.