Kevin Goodman was sworn in Tuesday as the new police chief for the City of Newberry. Goodman was sworn in by Judge Frank Partridge.

“Chief Goodman, we’re proud of you,” Mayor Foster Senn said. “We stand behind you and support you. That’s the City Council, the city staff, the Newberry community and the law enforcement community.”

Goodman said he was humbled and appreciated the confidence and the support that had been given to him to serve the citizens of Newberry and lead some of the best men and women that the profession had to offer.

“I have been blessed throughout my career,” he said. “God has placed so many wonderful people in my path that have helped me along the way.”

Goodman thanked the citizens of Newberry for their support and looked forward to continuing the dialogue that was so important to building community relationships.

“To my police department family, I’m so excited to be able to work alongside some of the best that this profession has to offer,” he said. “You give tirelessly of yourself every day and the best of yourself every day to me and to the city. You deserve the best from me and I promise I will give you that.”

Goodman’s pastor of New Vision Ministries, Adrian Pitts said a prayer over him, and his family presented him with a gift to honor his promotion.

He was then presented with a resolution on behalf of the state from Representative Rick Martin and Senator Ronnie Cromer.   

Growing up in Pomaria, Goodman said it wasn’t until he was studying sociology at Newberry College under Dr. Joseph McDonald in college that he became interested in a career in law enforcement. He said he found himself studying sociology and criminal justice even when he didn’t have to.

“It just really piqued my interest and I’ve loved it ever since,” he said. “It was intriguing and I kept going back to study more.”

Goodman holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Piedmont Technical College and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Strayer University. He is also a graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

After completing an internship with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Goodman found himself working with the Department of Juvenile Justice until he was hired by former Newberry Police Chief Jackie Swindler in 1995 as a patrolman. Moving through the ranks at the department, becoming patrol sergeant, juvenile crime prevention sergeant, lieutenant in investigations and lieutenant over investigations, Goodman was promoted to the position of captain in 2016.

While policing in an area you’re from has its challenges, Goodman says he loves Newberry and is proud to be at the Newberry Police Department.

“I think you’re more passionate when you serve a community you grew up in, because it’s personal,” he said.

Goodman said his parents and grandfather were an inspiration to him growing up, as they instilled loyalty and hard work in him and his two sisters and gave tirelessly of themselves so that their family could have the best.

“My mom always had this saying – no matter what you do, be the best at it and take pride in everything you do,” he said. “That was her thing, make sure whatever you do, that you love it. When I ran across an area and profession I loved, I stuck with it.”

In his new role as chief, Goodman said he wants to continue to expand on the relationship-based community policing initiatives of former chief Roy McClurkin and take that to another level.

“He [McClurkin] started so much and got it going in the right direction and I don’t want to lose that momentum,” Goodman said.

Goodman said he’s passionate about Newberry and approachable and wants the community to know that he’s looking forward to having dialogue with the community.

Goodman lives in Newberry with his wife, Rhonda and together they are the proud parents of four children and aunt/uncle to their niece, ranging in age from 11 to 29.

“If I’m not at work, I’m with my family,” he said. “They’re my crew.”

City Manager Matt DeWitt said he was excited to work with Goodman in continuing to ensure that Newberry was a safe place to live, work and play.

“Kevin’s Newberry roots will serve him well in his new role,” DeWitt said. “When you speak with Kevin about Newberry, you can hear the passion in his words and his ‘love for home’ attitude make him the perfect fit for this leadership position within the community.”