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Effingham Magazine


Story by Katrice Williams

Chief Jonathon Murrell recently became the new Rincon Chief of Police. He stepped up as interim chief on September 11, 2019. Interestingly enough, Chief Murrell, formerly Lieutenant Murrell, had never sought after the role throughout his career in law enforcement. However, with unwavering overall support and a unanimous vote by the city council, the chief graciously and willingly filled the position.

“I never aspired to be the chief of the department; however, it has been a pleasant surprise. Everybody has been completely supportive—those within the police department (PD) and outside of it, including the city manager, the city council and the mayor,” Chief Murrell stated.

In fact, City Manager John Klimm previously reported that “the council likes the chief’s team approach” while Mayor Ken Lee feels that the chief “brought the team together, raised morale and did an exemplary job” as the interim chief.

Chief Murrell began his career with the Rincon PD in May 2010. Prior to obtaining the role of interim chief, he had been serving as lieutenant since January 2019. Before joining the Rincon PD, he was an officer within the Statesboro PD, but he decided that he wanted to serve his own community.

“I enjoyed it, but I wanted to come home to the department in the place where I grew up,” he said. Though a Beaufort, South Carolina native, Chief Murrell grew up in the local area. The proud husband and father calls Effingham home.

Actually, he comes from a family committed to public service. His dad, in particular, was one of his biggest mentors growing up, as he was an officer within the Beaufort County Police Department.

“I always looked up to him and respected what he did,” Chief Murrrell said. The chief understands that his community deserves a dedicated department with a true heart for service and community. His team shares that vision.

“We work together as a team; we’re building and maintaining an atmosphere where everybody feels invested in the department. We’re jovial within the department, but when it comes down to business, we’re professional,” he asserted.

The chief knows that having that team approach, along with high morale and stability, is of utmost importance. Regarding department stability, he feels that trusting and rewarding professional relationships inside and certainly outside the department take time to build. Hence, he is thankful that the department has maintained a low turnover rate for quite some time, as one of the chief’s top priorities is to ensure that the department and community have a positive relationship.

Going forward, the chief has several beneficial goals, including an initiative to incorporate a chaplain’s program within the department. Chief Murrell is looking ahead to a promising future for the department and the community. He feels that his team is “going in the right direction.” “We want the public to feel they can voice their concerns and get a fair response. We want to be an agency that’s approachable by the public.”