January 20, 2022
Town of Kiawah Island Hires New Public Safety Director
The Town of Kiawah Island has selected Craig Harris Sr. to serve as Kiawah’s new Public Safety Director. Harris joins the Town from Mt. Pleasant Police Department, where he has served as the Lieutenant and Unit Commander in the Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) since 2016. The Town adding the role of Public Safety Director fulfills the vision and recommendations of the Town’s 1995 and 2014 Public Safety Study to serve the growth of the island.
Harris will assume full management responsibility for all Public Safety department services and activities within the Town and act as liaison to Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns Fire Department, Charleston County EMS, Beach Patrol, Code Enforcement, Kiawah Island Golf Resort (KIGR), and Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA). He will monitor service and efficiency levels with Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Charleston County EMS and ensure the public safety roles during an emergency event are carried out effectively through coordination with local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. He will also serve as the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee.
His experience includes:
- 20+ years’ experience as a Police Officer and ten years’ experience in Police leadership
- Certified in Hostage Negotiation, Criminal Investigation and High-Risk Management
- Graduate of FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Leadership Institute
- Certified in Crisis and Critical training from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Graduate of The Riley Institute Lowcountry Diversity Leaders Initiative at Furman University
- Graduate of Supervision of Police Personnel at Northwestern University
- Experienced working with local, state, and federal agencies and experienced with critical incident command and crisis management
- Managed a civil disturbance unit during the aftermath of the Emmanuel 9 Church shooting
“I am honored to be a part of the Kiawah team and look forward to working towards a common goal to enhance and take a more holistic approach to public safety on the island with a focus on streamlining the government and private entities providing public safety services,” says Harris.
Harris has a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety with specialization in Criminal Justice from Capella University, a Master of Science in Human Service, Management & Leadership from Springfield College, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from South Carolina State University. He is an adjunct professor at Voorhees College and teaches Juvenile Delinquency, Ethics in Social Science, Deviant Behavior, and Senior Thesis Seminar.
Harris is a Charleston native and attended Burke High School. Both of his parents are retired law enforcement supervisors, and he is married with three children and two grandsons. For the last 20 years, he has served at Burke High School as a Drumline Instructor and mentors students in the program.