For the last six months, Phillip Scholl has been in charge of the Rincon Police Department on an interim basis.
Rincon City Council members made his appointment permanent Monday night.
With a unanimous vote, council members approved the hiring of the law enforcement veteran as the next chief of the Rincon Police Department.
“He has really stepped up and changed the morale of the department,” said interim city manager Wesley Corbitt. “I have been really impressed with his leadership of the department.”
Council members also were impressed with what Scholl has done since he was given the reins of the department.
“I’ve been fighting this thing since 1991,” said Levi Scott. “This time, we had a candidate we knew his character and his ability. I’ve been impressed with some of the things he’s doing in the community. We’ve got somebody who knows the community and knows what the community needs. The morale of the police department is outstanding.”
Scholl, who was promoted from sergeant, has been with the RPD since 2008. A native of Garden City, Scholl has lived in Effingham County for almost 20 years. For the last four years, he’s been in supervisory roles with the Rincon Police.
“I’ve had the opportunity to learn as I go, what needs to be done, how it needs to be done,” he said after the city council’s vote Monday night. “I wanted to continue that.”
Scholl also spent several years with the Garden City Police Department, rising through the ranks to become that department’s lead detective. While there, he investigated eight homicides and became a certified crime scene investigator.
He also knows what it’s like for officers to serve in a department without a chief at the top, because he went through that while working in Garden City.
“Going through that is very hard for the people who work for a police department,” he said. “I don’t want to see these guys leave. We have a wonderful group of ladies and gentlemen who work here. All I have to do is point them in the right direction.”
Scholl started his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Georgia Ports Authority, which put him through two separate academies. He joined the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 and was a member of the anti-DUI task force.
He eventually joined the Rincon Police Department before returning to the ECSO, prior to his years with the Garden City Police Department.
Scholl said his intentions are to remain chief of the Rincon department.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “They’re going to have run me out of here. I’m not going to go anywhere. I think I’m pretty easy to get along with.”
Scholl said he wants to work on the relationships between the Rincon department and the courts, the district attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies.
“I have a good working relationship with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “I want to open lines of communication that were broken, not just with other agencies, but with the district attorney’s office and the courts. I want the department to be professional all the way around, not just out on the street.”
The department has 16 people, with two civilians, and one officer is on long-term medical leave. Rincon officers will conduct a fundraising motorcycle ride for Cpl. Dennis Badger next month.