Hardeeville's interim chief aims to build relationship with sher - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hardeeville's interim chief aims to build relationship with sheriff's office

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A retired sheriff's deputy is stepping in to lead theHardeeville Police Department.

Sam Woodard was appointed interim police chief last Friday,a few days after the former chief, Richard Nagy, resigned amid controversy overa Nov. 10 incident between Hardeeville Police officers and councilman SalArzillo.  

Interim Chief Woodard said one of the things he wants toaccomplish during his term is forming a stronger relationship between hisdepartment and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Woodard retired from the sheriff's office in 2010, and in2012 he ran against Sheriff Gregory Jenkins. That election caused a little bitof tension, but he said both he and Jenkins have moved past that, and there'sno animosity between them.

"Both of us want to do the right thing, and that's to helpthe people of Jasper County, and also the people of Hardeeville," saidWoodard.

He believes working with the sheriff's office and openingthe lines of communication will lead to a safer town. Woodward also said he'snot going to focus on the issues that existed in the old administration underthe leadership of former chief Nagy.

"Personally, I don't want to get in the middle of whathappened to the other administration," Woodard said. "The only thingI want to make sure the people of Hardeeville know that I'm here. I'm makingsure the department is running smoothly, and we're going to protect thecitizens of Hardeeville."

The town hasn't said when they'll start looking for apermanent chief, but Woodard said he will be applying for the job.

"This is an opportunity for me to get back into lawenforcement and start helping people again. I enjoy helping people," he said.

And he's already got some support "I think Sam Woodardwould be a good man for the job. He has a lot of experience in law enforcement,and I think he'd be real good," said Hardeeville resident Earl Hubbard.

Woodard has been putting in long hours since getting the jobFriday, and he said he has a lot more work ahead of him. He's also looking tohire more officers during his term.

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