NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The City of North Myrtle Beach welcomed its first female Chief of Police and introduced its newest Associate Judge.
On January 6, 2023, Police Chief Dana Crowell was promoted from her Captain’s position, and former Chief Tommy Dennis became an Associate Judge.
Crowell introduced Dennis prior to his retirement from the Police Department and swearing-in as an Associate Judge.
Crowell said, “Working side-by-side with Tommy, I learned that he was a Godly man, and one of the most kind, caring, selfless, and considerate people I have ever met.”
Chief Crowell said Dennis lead the department through some of the darkest moments when Sergeant Gordon Best was killed in the line-of duty in 2020. She thanked Dennis for his faithful service to North Myrtle Beach and to the men and women of the department.
NMB Fire Chief Garry Spain presented a ceremonial axe to the outgoing Chief. Spain said it was a tradition to gift retiring firefighters with an axe, and since Dennis had served a dual role as a firefighter, it was the right thing to do. Spain recognized Dennis as a good friend and colleague.
Members of the Police Department also presented him with a shadow box that held mementos of his time as a law-enforcement officer.
Dennis will continue his role in public service as an Associate Judge for the City of North Myrtle Beach Municipal Court. Dennis’ wife, Heather, held the Bible during the ceremony, and Chief Judge Dean Mureddu, swore Dennis in.
Associate Judge Dennis then introduced the incoming Chief saying, “Dana has such a passion for our people and the people of this City. That passion and fire within her drove her to learn and take every ounce of knowledge she possibly could.”
Dennis said Crowell learned all that she could because, “she knew she could help our department be the best around, and for this City to have peace of mind knowing they are well taken care of by their finest.”
City Manager Mike Mahaney said he chose Crowell for the position of Chief of Police because he knew she was the right person for the role and would continue to lead the department in the right direction as the City continues to grow.
Crowell becomes the eighth Chief of Police for the City of North Myrtle Beach since 1968. She is also the first woman to command the Department.
Crowell’s husband, Aaron, held her personal Bible during the ceremony, and former Chief Tommy Dennis swore her in. Then Dennis removed his Chief’s badge, and Crowell’s husband pinned it on her uniform.
Jay Ortiz, Chaplain for the City’s Public Safety Department, blessed Chief Crowell and Associate Judge Dennis.
City leaders, representatives from several law-enforcement agencies, retired members of the Police Department, and family were all in attendance.
Fellowship and refreshments were held in the City Hall Atrium after the ceremonies.