Florence Police Chief retires, takes job as Community Relations Commander

The following news release is from the City of Florence:

As Police Chief Anson Shells looked toward a mandatory retirement date he requested an opportunity to find other employment opportunities within the City of Florence. One such opportunity presented itself given the City's commitment to a long term neighborhood revitalization strategy. Numerous studies identify that the blighting influence of vacant and abandoned housing coupled with the lack of investment opportunities result in the alienation of a neighborhood from the City and that this alienation is expressed by acts of juvenile delinquency, vandalism, drug use, and crime against property.

Former Chief Shells has accepted an opportunity to be a vital part of the City's future success in revitalizing our neighborhoods. We know that crime and the perception of crime will be a significant road block to the success of revitalizing our neighborhoods. We also accept that it takes a unique individual with years of experience within the City of Florence and policing in general to bridge the gap between residents and the implementation of revitalization strategies.

Commander Shells will bring to this effort his experience as community relations liaison with the Richland County Sheriff Department and his experience in our community. We consider Commander Shells an asset to the City and expect great things from him in this new role.