Just hours after being offered — and taking — the job as police chief for Rincon, Mike Bohannon was on the job.
The former Effingham County Sheriff’s Office captain was hired by Rincon City Council in a 5-0 vote Thursday night. Council member Scott Morgan was unable to attend the meeting.
Council members spent nearly 40 minutes in executive session before taking their vote.
“He’s very experienced and he came highly recommended by everybody we talked to,” Mayor Ken Lee said. “He’s the kind of guy who will do a good job.”
Bohannon was one of three finalists for the position out of a pool of 31 applicants. The position had been vacant since September, after council members fired Michael Berry.
Berry has since sued the city, charging council members violated state open meetings laws. The city has filed a countersuit against Berry.
“Not having a chief has been difficult for this council,” Lee said.
Bohannon served with the ECSO for 12 years, after a stint with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department. He left the sheriff’s department last spring to enter private business.
“I was ready to get back into law enforcement,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the citizens and mayor and council, and the citizens of Effingham County and other agencies. My door is open to anybody and everybody.”
The ouster of Berry and Detective Scott Collins, along with other departures, left the Rincon Police Department at almost half its allotted complement of officers. The ranks of the department are at almost full staff with Bohannon’s hire.
“I think Rincon’s a great city and a great place,” Bohannon said. “You’ve got a great police department here in Rincon.”
Lee said Thursday night he anticipated Bohannon getting to work immediately. Bohannon is the third chief in less than three years for the Rincon force.
“We look forward to him getting this department where it needs to be,” the mayor said.
City council’s work in filling administrative posts is far from done. Up next is finding a city manager to replace Donald Toms, who left the city a month ago, and another finance director.