Community reacts to Surfside Beach Police Chief resignation

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Changes could be coming to the Surfside Beach Police Department; Mayor Bob Childs says Chief Rodney Keziah handed in a letter of resignation.

Chief Keziah was with the Surfside Beach Police Department for years before taking over as Chief in April of 2013.

“We’ll try to struggle on and continue but it will be a big loss with the chief,” said Mayor Childs.

Mayor Childs added that he was shocked by the announcement and is working with the town administrator to urge Chief Keziah to stay.

“Well I guess the best we can do is talk to him and convince him that this is the best place in the world to work and we’d love to have him stay,” said Childs.

Childs says the letter of resignation was put in this week and the chief is still on the job, for now.

“He does an excellent job for us.  The fact is myself and the town administrator are doing everything we can to talk him into changing his mind,” said Childs.

Childs points to Keziah’s work outside the department as one reason he’d like him to stay, “chief,  in my opinion is an ambassador to the town.. He does a lot of community work.”

“I’m sure that nobody knows about it because he’s not that kind of man, but he would call me at least two times a week and ask what we needed,” said Beth Kohlmann.

Kohlmann is the president Of South Strand Helping Hand, a charity in Surfside that provides emergency food, clothing, and financial resources for those in need.

“He is instrumental in getting things accomplished.  He would come on his day off and pick up thousands of pounds of non-perishable food from the schools and unload it into the warehouses,” explained Kohlmann.

Kohlmann says besides charity work, Keziah also supported her personally, “he has been extremely supportive of our family in the death of child, as well as everyone else in the town but he goes above and beyond just to check in a lot.”

And like Mayor Childs, Kohlmann hopes for a change of heart, “I wish him well, but I certainly wish he would change his mind and stay.”

News13 reached out to Chief Keziah for comment, but has yet to hear back.  An interim chief has not been named, Mayor Childs says candidates still need to be interviewed before one is selected.