For the first time in three decades, Rock Hill’s police chief has come from within, and Tuesday morning, Captain Chris Watts was named to lead the department following the retirement of Chief John Gregory in December.
Watts is a 24-year veteran of the department, who since 2008, has overseen the agency’s support services division.
Watts said he was surprised to learn he was one of three finalists whittled down from a pool of over 100 applicants.
Watts was named as a finalist last Friday, along with Patrol Captain Steve Parker and the department’s Public Information Officer, Lt. Brad Redfearn.
City Manager David Vehaun made the final decision as to who would serve as the next chief.
Vehaun said at the onset of the search in October he expected internal candidates to fare well in the process.
Former Police Chief John Gregory agreed with Vehaun’s decision, saying he was very proud of see one of his captains promoted.
Watts was sworn in Tuesday morning, and his promotion was effective shortly before noontime.