After less than a week as acting chief of police, Chrissie Cofield was named as the chief of the Laurens Police Department. The hire was announced Tuesday after a very short executive session at Laurens City Council’s regular meeting.
“Chrissie Cofield is your new chief,” said Mayor John Stankus, and several visitors in the audience clapped and cheered the decision.
Cofield was at home and Stankus said he called her to let her know just a moment before council chambers were re-opened.
“We weren’t going to drag it out when we knew we had the person we wanted,” Stankus said. “She is greatly qualified, and, as of a few minutes ago, she has assumed her duties. She has a lot of work to do, and she will need a lot of support. But her resume is super, and I know she has a tremendous work ethic.”
Stankus said he allowed Cofield to take a long-planned trip this weekend as the vacation had already been planned.
“I am excited, and I am humbled to lead the men and women of Laurens Police Department,” Cofield said soon after the meeting adjourned. “I felt like I was ready for the challenge.”
Cofield’s experience includes 14 years in the military, first as an active-duty military police officer and then in reserves as a chemical specialist.
“Other than the year I spent at SLED, I’ve been at Laurens for almost 19 years,” she said. “In fact, Oct. 19 will be 19 years here. I’ve had some great leaders in my time, and they have instilled that desire to be a good leader into me.”
Cofield said she will sit down with the mayor and plan any needed adjustments, but she doesn’t think that will need to be done immediately.
“Right now, we will stay the course and continue to operate as we were when Chief (Sonny) Ledda left Friday and to continue the level of service that our city and Laurens County have been accustomed to,” Cofield said.
Ledda resigned two weeks ago to take over as chief of police for the City of Clinton.
As to being the first female Chief of Police for the City of Laurens, Cofield said that also has definitely occurred to her.
“I wish I had done the research to see how many female chiefs of police or sheriffs there are in South Carolina but I didn’t,” Cofield said. “But I am honored to be one of the few.”