NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The first female police chief in North Myrtle Beach was sworn in Friday.

Capt. Dana Crowell, a 20-year veteran of the department, became the city’s first female police chief when she was sworn in at 3 p.m. Friday in a ceremony at City Hall.

She will replace Tommy Dennis, who will be taking over as an associate judge in the city’s municipal court. He has served as the city’s police chief since June 2020 and has worked for the department for nearly 26 years.

Crowell will be the eighth police chief since the city was incorporated in 1968.

“I promise you that as long as you police in a fair and ethical manner, I will always support you and I will have your back,” Crowell said. “And if you don’t, I will hold you accountable, because the community we serve deserves no less.”

Crowell said she had many people to thank.

“I must say that I am humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to lead and serve the men and women of one of the finest police organizations in this state,” she said.

According to the city, Crowell was appointed to the position of Professional Standards Captain in 2020 and is currently responsible for the daily operations of the agency as well as internal investigations and departmental hiring.

She is active in several professional organizations, including the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the South Carolina Police Chief Association; the Southern Police Institute’s Alumni Association; the North Myrtle Beach Rotary Club; and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

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She graduated from the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s 134th Administrative Officers Course and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia University, in Columbia, South Carolina, and an associate degree of science in Criminal Justice from Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.