Waters stepping down as St. Stephen chief

John Waters

Longtime St. Stephen Police Chief John Waters is stepping down at the end of June.

Waters, 51, has been with the department in upper Berkeley County for two decades and has served as top cop of the seven-officer force since 2001. He was recently one of 14 Republican candidates for Berkeley County sheriff.

“I put my resignation in Monday night (effective June 29),” he said Wednesday. “It’s just time. We’ve got a new administration and a new mayor. We’ve tried to work together for about a year and a half and he’s going in a different direction than I’m used to going in, so we just came to a mutual agreement that it’s time.”

Mayor John Rivers, who took office in May 2014, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It wasn’t his idea,” Waters said. “It was mine. They did not ask me to leave. They didn’t force me out or anything like that. It has nothing to do with any hard feelings. It was just time in my career to make a change.”

Waters’ salary was about $44,000, according to election paperwork filed with the State Ethics Commission.

Waters said he has no plans for the future, but he is three years shy of the 25 years needed to qualify for retirement through the state Police Officers Retirement System.

“I’ve got to go somewhere, but I’m going to take a little time off and decide what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’ve talked to several different places. I’m just going to enjoy my grand-kids for a bit and then go from there.”

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.