Tommy Dennis (2)

Tommy Dennis on Sunday was promoted to North Myrtle Beach police chief. Photo courtesy of North Myrtle Beach 

Tommy Dennis is North Myrtle Beach’s new police chief.

Chief Dennis, 46, was a lieutenant when he was named interim chief on June 16, and was promoted to chief on Sunday. 

“Tommy performed in the role of interim chief of police just as we thought he would,” said Public Safety Director Jay Fernandez. “He is effective, fair-minded, has the ability to see the big picture and at the same time can zero in to help resolve specific challenges. He effectively relates to all types of people. We are glad for Tommy and know that our staff, our taxpayers and visitors will benefit from his leadership.”

Dennis, who’s married with two kids, is originally from Camden, South Carolina. He joined the department 1997 after graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1996 with a criminal justice degree.

He’s the first permanent chief to replace Greg Purden, who took the job in May of 2019 and resigned in March of 2020.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Dennis said. “I‘ve been here almost 24 years. I don’t feel it sometimes, but I’m still relatively young. I plan on being here for some time to come.”

Since he’s been with North Myrtle Beach police, he’s served as a public safety officer, detective, sergeant, and lieutenant.

“I’m not here to try and flip the department upside down and make all kinds of changes, but whatever we need to do to make us even better, I’m willing to step up and do what we need to do,” said Dennis.

“I just want to maintain what we’ve got,” he added. “We’ve got a great group of guys here. They need someone to build on what we already have. We’ve got a great city.” 

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