Landrum Police Chief Shelnut to retirePublished 4:56pm Friday, March 9, 2012
Landrum’s Police Chief Bruce Shelnut announced late last week that he would retire after 27 years in law enforcement.
“There are some things I want to do that I can’t do and work,” Shelnut said. “I’ll miss the people of Landrum and my guys, but I wanted to retire while my health is still good and I can enjoy it.”
Shelnut, who celebrated his 65th birthday two weeks ago, said he hopes to spend more time with his grandchildren in particular. He’ll officially leave his post March 30.
Shelnut’s career in law enforcement started almost three decades ago with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’d always wanted to get into law enforcement since I was young but it didn’t happen at first,” Shelnut said. “Quite truthfully, I stumbled into it when I was out of a job and a buddy of mine was in law enforcement. He encouraged me to seek out a job with the sheriff’s office and I did.”
Shelnut said Spartanburg County Sheriff Larry Smith gave him his first job.
“I had the intention of just staying in it until I found another job, but it got in my blood and I’ve stayed with it,” Shelnut said.
Shelnut left Spartanburg County and came to Landrum as sergeant in 1992, eventually being promoted to lieutenant. In 1996, Shelnut left Landrum and went to Chesnee as chief. In 1998, he again came back to Landrum as captain and was promoted to chief of the Landrum Police Department in 2002. Shelnut has remained in that position for the last nine years.
“It’s an occupation that has so much excitement to it – the up and down with your adrenaline flow and not knowing what you are going to face day to day,” Shelnut said. “Once a guy gets in and stays a few years, he’s usually in it for the rest of his life.”
While serving in Landrum over the last decade, Shelnut said the department has worked some big cases, including a murder in which a father killed his son and another that was a murder-suicide. Shelnut said Landrum also solved three bank robbery cases in that time.
Mayor Robert Briggs said the town appreciates the years of service Shelnut has put into keeping the town safe.
“He’s been a great chief and a good friend,” Briggs said. “I knew it was going to happen at some point and time but it snuck up on me. So we’re going to miss him.”
Briggs said the city administrator will recommend someone for the position to the council, who will then either approve the appointment or begin the interviewing process.