Cayce Hires 29 Year Police Veteran as Chief of Police

CAYCE, SC – The City of Cayce has hired Deputy Chief Chris Cowan, a 29 year law enforcement veteran, as the next Chief of Police for the City of Cayce In July, current Director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, Byron Snellgrove, announced his retirement after 38 years in South Carolina Law Enforcement.

Cowan will work alongside Director Snellgrove until his departure in December. The City of Cayce has also announced that the Department, which has housed police, fire and K9 operations for the last 41 years, is in the process of establishing a separate Cayce Police Department and the Cayce Fire Department.

Deputy Chief Chris Cowan is known for his extensive experience leading special operations, homeland security, crime suppression, professional development, community policing, media relations and business and community crime prevention units. Currently a Deputy Chief for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a 960-person Department, he works with local, state and federal partners in South Carolina in developing law enforcement, professional development and community based initiatives.

Cayce City Manager, Tracy Hegler, felt that “Cowan’s impeccable professional standards and qualifications made him stand out among the many that applied for the Chief of Police position.” Further, Hegler exclaimed, “We are thrilled to announce the hiring of a decorated leader from what was recently named the nation’s top department from the National Sheriff’s Association.”

Commissioned as a United States Naval Officer; he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and a master’s Certificate from the Australian Institute of Police Management. Chris is a graduate of the South Carolina Executive Institute, the FBI National Academy, the FBI Command Leadership Institute and the FBI Hazardous Devices School Executive Management Program. 

Byron Snellgrove, Director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety stated, “I am so happy that we were able to select Deputy Chief Cowan as the City’s incoming Chief of Police. He will lead our Department with the community-based policing and high-level professionalism that the City of Cayce is known for. He is someone I have worked with for many years, and I know he will bring the same level of compassion and service to this Department that he has to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.”

Deputy Chief Cowan has also worked internationally to develop policing programs and initiatives. He has worked with the London Metropolitan Police, the Staffordshire England Police, Queensland Police Service, Australia, The Australia Federal Police, Hong Kong Police, Bulgarian Police Service and Rheinland Polizei, and nationally with the Los Angeles Police Department, New York Police Department, and the North Carolina Justice Academy.

“The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is very proud of our Deputy Chief Chris Cowan being selected as Cayce’s Police Chief”, said Sheriff Leon Lott. “I have watched Chris grow in his career for the past 25 years. He’s excelled in every position he earned at the Sheriff’s Department. Today, is like watching one of your children move from home to their career goal. I have the upmost confidence that Chris will serve the citizens of Cayce with loyalty, professionalism, and integrity, just as he has done for Richland County. He is prepared for this next chapter in his professional career. I look forward to working with him as the City of Cayce’s Police Chief, Chief Chris Cowan.”

He has also held several statewide leadership roles in South Carolina: President of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, President of the Blythewood Rotary Club, Chairperson for Crime stoppers of the Midlands, and a charter member of the South Carolina Crime stoppers Council. Cowan is a recipient of the

South Carolina Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Officer of the year, two times recipient of the Southeastern Crime stoppers Coordinator of the Year award, two-time Rotarian of the Year award and The American Lawman Magazine Officer of the Quarter. 

Cowan and his wife of 26 years have two children and are members Blythewood Presbyterian Church.



This article was originally published on Friday, September 10, 2021.

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  • City of Cayce
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    Cayce, SC 29033
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    City of Cayce Spokesperson
    Ashley S. Hunter
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