College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu sent the following message to the campus community on Monday, June 29, 2020:

Dear Campus Community,

I write this morning with some exciting news.

Effective Wednesday, July 1, Captain Francis “Chip” Searson of the Charleston Police Department will assume the role of interim chief of police.

A native Charlestonian, Chip brings with him more than 40 years of law enforcement experience and a history of service to his community, including his work as a coach, mentor and also past president of the Rotary Club of St. Andrews. Chip earned his B.S. in training, education and development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and his master’s from The Citadel. He also attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Most recently, he served as the commander of the Special Operations Division for the Charleston Police Department, but, over the course of his career, he has done everything – from uniform traffic patrol to unit commander for the downtown team to the deputy director of the Police Corps. I am confident that Captain Searson will do a great job in this interim role as we continue our search for a permanent chief of police.

Let me close by thanking Interim Chief Bill Herkert for his leadership this past year and Captain Lamar Williams for his continued service to our department. There is no doubt that much of our success as a campus community is due in large part to their unwavering dedication and commitment to our shared safety.

Please join me in thanking Interim Chief Herkert and Captain Williams for their great service and also welcoming Chip to the College of Charleston family.



Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston