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Pawleys Island: Town picks Mike Fanning as new police chief

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

A former New York City cop is the new head of Pawleys Island’s nine-member police department. Town Council selected Mike Fanning from among two remaining finalists.

Fanning joined the department in 2007. He moved to Pawleys Island after retiring from the New York City Police Department, where he was a 20-year veteran. He started as a patrol officer in the transit police. He was also leader of a hostage negotiations team, and he retired as a sergeant and supervisor in NYPD’s hate crimes task force.

“I appreciate your confidence,” Fanning told the council after the unanimous decision. “I hope you’ll hold me to a higher standard.”

Fanning and Matt Elliott, who is also a Pawleys Island Police officer, were the final candidates to replace Chief Guy Osborne. Jim Arnold, a retired Georgetown Police officer from Murrells Inlet, dropped out before interviews by Town Council. Kirk Corley, commander of the patrol division for the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, dropped out Thursday.

After going through an interview with the council on Monday, Corley was still excited about the job. But he was concerned about moving just as his daughter is about to start her freshman year at Winthrop University. “It came down to a timing issue,” he said.

Osborne will retire at the end of August after 10 years with the town and 41 in law enforcement. “It isn’t a challenge for me anymore,” Osborne said while waiting for the council to complete its interviews Monday. “I’ve done all I can do.”

Osborne says his only regret about his time with the town is that he didn’t come to the job earlier in his career. It was a two-man operation when he started, on the Fourth of July in 2002. The Pawleys Island Police Department has five full-time and four part-time officers. This year is the first time it has been able to offer 24-hour coverage of the town.

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