SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The words "Chief of Police" are written on the door of the office Kenneth Hofmann has had for five months now.
However, Thursday night marked the start of something he's wished for for decades. Hofmann was officially sworn in as Surfside Beach's new chief of police after serving in the interim capacity since February.
"So it seems like, you know, tomorrow will just be another day, but the truth is it's a real honor to get to be the police chief in the small town that I started policing in 21 years ago," Hofmann said.
This is true for Hofmann because to him, this isn't just a job title.
"I don't think that there's any other place like Surfside," he said.
For that, Hofmann credits the people.
"It's very family oriented, with good, strong values and so many people who are very passionate about how this town operates," he said.
That very passion is something Hofmann sees in the officers too.
"That's one thing that we love to say. We don't ever get to a call and say, 'I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do.' There is always something we can do," he said. "I see a group of officers who come in every day or every night and they are prepared to do as much as they can on that shift to keep this town safe. And why would I change that? I can't come up with a good reason. It wouldn't do me any good to change anything drastically at the department. It just works."
The community is what Hofmann sees as the reason the Surfside Beach Police Department has been so successful over the years. It's a relationship he promises to maintain.
"This is a transparent, community-oriented police department. We are never going to be 100 percent right. We are not always going to do it right, but we are going to try to do the best that we can to provide the best service to everybody," he said.
Hofmann went on to say he wants everyone in Surfside Beach to know they can always call on the police department.
As for the kind of police chief the community can expect, Hofmann isn't planning to be glued to his chair.
"I don't think that I can lead from the office. I like to be out in the field with the officers. And the community knows that I'm out and about a lot," he said.
Hofmann said he is looking forward to seeing the community at the first-ever National Night Out in Surfside Beach. That event is Tuesday, Aug. 2 in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly.