Bluffton Police Chief accepts job in Tennessee

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - Bluffton Police Chief Joe Manning is leaving South Carolina for a new police chief job in Sevierville, Tenn.

The Sevierville Police Department announced Friday Manning will start as its new chief of police on or near May 14. Manning replaces a retiring chief who worked for Sevierville Police for 39 years.

According to a news release, Manning has visited Sevierville, which is about 30 miles from Knoxville, Tenn. and about 7 miles from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for 20 years and has friends in the area.

Today, leaders in Bluffton gave us official word of Chief Manning's resignation.

In a news release Manning said, "I am very sad to leave Bluffton after how wonderful and supportive the community, Mayor Lisa Sulka and council members have been with me from the day I was hired as the Deputy Chief through my tenure as Chief.  However, Sevierville is a city my family and I have loved and visited for decades. There was much thought and prayer that went into applying and ultimately accepting this position."

Bluffton leaders said Manning's last day of employment with the Town will be on or before May 9.

Before Manning leaves, Bluffton Town Manager Marc Orlando will appoint an interim chief of police. In the next several days, the Town will finalize the mechanics of the process for selecting a new chief.  The search will be open to both internal and external applicants, and will be advertised through state and national outlets.

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