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Major Mike Crider named interim police chief of the town of Pelion

Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) – Major Mike Crider was officially appointed as the interim police chief of the town of Pelion Thursday night after it was announced during the council meeting that Chief Christopher Garner had retired from policing after 38 years on the job. Crider has been with the department since it was re-instituted in 2004.

Crider had previously worked with both the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department before being brought to Pelion by Garner. During the council meeting Thursday night, Garner presented Crider with his chief’s badges and said that he believes that he will continue to lead the department in the right direction. “I have every confidence in Michael,” Garner said. “He has all the experience and skills that he needs to do a great job of leading this department in the right way.”

Crider will immediately take the reins of the department at a particularly challenging time. This weekend is the town’s annual peanut party, a festival that celebrates the boiled peanuts that are grown across the region and the state and then prepared expertly by members of the town’s Ruritan Club. It causes the population of the town to swell for the weekend as visitors come to enjoy the family friendly event. Normally, visitors behave in an orderly fashion and the police department partners with the sheriff’s department to keep it that way. This will be the first time that a new police chief leads the parade since the department was restarted.

The town in also experiencing a surge in traffic due in part to the fact that its Main Street, US Hwy. 178, is a cut through from the Savannah, Georgia region to I-20. Much of this traffic is heavy, commercial trucks.

The interim chief will also have several special projects that the council would like to immediately start. One is an effort to have the state change the speed limit throughout the town to 35 miles per hour unless otherwise posted across the entire town.

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