HANAHAN — City Council on Friday hired a man who started his career here two decades ago to be their new police chief.
Mike Cochran, currently an assistant chief at Lauderhill (Fla.) Police Department, was the council's unanimous choice to replace Chief Donald Wilcox, who retired this summer, after two days of interviews with six finalists.
"When all of the interviews were over, the council had definitely brought in six fine people to interview," said City Administrator John Cribb. "But they felt that (Cochran) was the best fit because he has a community policing-oriented philosophy."
Cochran, 43, worked in Hanahan for two years in the early 1990s before joining the start-up agency on the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale, where he spent the past 17 years. Lauderhill now has 120 officers.
"I am eligible for retirement and I'm too young to retire," he said. "When I saw that Hanahan was looking for a chief, I thought it was the ideal situation."
Cochran and Karen, his wife of 15 years, have two daughters, Kelly, 8, and Kate, 3.
"I had a wonderful career down here, but I always yearned for a place to raise my family that was as nice as Hanahan," he said. "I am very much a family man and being able to raise my family there is so ideal. While I was there, I stopped by the elementary school and, wow, it was really nice."
Cochran will start his new position Nov. 28. His family will stay in Florida to sell their house.
The other finalists were Lt. Mike Patterson, Lt. John Blackmon and Lt. Mike Fowler, all of the Hanahan Police Department; Lt. Michael Roach of the Moncks Corner Police Department; and Joyce Kephart-Adair, who retired from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office in June and now works as a victims advocate for the department.