CHESTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The City of Chester announced via Facebook it fired its police chief on Wednesday afternoon.

Curtis Singleton (Courtesy: Chester Police Department)

Curtis Singleton, now the former chief of the Chester Police Department, was fired after what officials called an ‘extremely productive’ meeting between the city administrator, mayor, sheriff, members of the sheriff’s command staff, and county administrator.

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Officials advised as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Capt. Al Crawford was temporarily assigned as the city’s operational commander for law enforcement services.

“This temporary adjustment to the structure of law enforcement services in the City is in no way an effort by Sheriff Dorsey to permanently supplant or replace police services by the City of Chester,” a spokesperson wrote.

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The city said it understands its sheriff’s office has limited resources and is expected to receive additional help from state law enforcement partners.

City officials released the following statement on Thursday:

“As the City Administrator, my foremost duty is to evaluate situations comprehensively and make decisions in the best interests of our beloved city. I understand the importance of maintaining transparency and accountability in our actions, which is why I’m here today to discuss the recent decision to remove Chief Curtis Singleton from his position as Police Chief, effective as of yesterday.

I want to address several concerns and queries that have arisen considering this decision. The choice to relieve Chief Singleton from his duties stemmed from a finding that his “testimony was not credible” as a prosecution witness during an immunity hearing for a murder case (In the Court of General Sessions for the Sixth Judicial Circuit-August 22,2023) in Chester. It’s crucial to acknowledge that such actions have far-reaching implications, especially in ongoing prosecutions within our jurisdiction. Our commitment to justice demands that any instance of discredited testimony by law enforcement personnel is treated with the utmost seriousness.

As City Administrator, I believe that maintaining public trust in our law enforcement is paramount, and thus, this decision has been taken to uphold that trust. I want to emphasize that I have complete faith in the dedicated men and women of our Police Department. Their commitment to our community remains unwavering, and I also have full confidence in their ability to steer us through this transition.

To ensure the continued safety and security of our city, I have collaborated with the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. I am pleased to announce that Sheriff’s Captain Al Crawford has been temporarily designated as the Operational Commander for law enforcement services in Chester. Captain Crawford will continue to fulfill his responsibilities within the Sheriff’s Office while extending his expertise to this new role.

It’s crucial to clarify that this temporary arrangement is not indicative of a permanent replacement of our city’s police services. We acknowledge the limitations of resources and are actively seeking assistance from state law enforcement partners to enhance our capabilities. Sheriff Dorsey and I are dedicated to collaborating and supporting the development of an exemplary municipal police department and are actively seeking assistance from state law enforcement partners to enhance our capabilities.

I want to assure you that the temporary adjustment in law enforcement structure is aimed at providing seamless service to our community while we work together to determine the best path forward. In the coming months, I will be engaging with community leaders, police command staff, and our elected officials to chart the course for permanently filling the Police Chief position.

Our commitment to Chester’s safety, justice, and growth remains steadfast. Let us continue to stand united as we navigate this transition and strive to build a better future for our city.”