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Chief B.L. Rinehart

Chief B.L. Rinehart

Chief B. L. Rinehart was hired by the Charleston Police Department on August 1st, 1979. While working at the police department he continued his college education and obtained his bachelor degree in criminal justice and an associate degree in business management. 

While working for the Charleston Police Department for 28 years he accomplished many things. These accomplishments include the following: 

• Setting up the Charleston Police Department’s first Field   Training Officer (FTO) program. This was the first FTO program of its type in the entire state. Chief Rinehart was in charge of the program for six years and traveled around the state to assist other agencies with implementation of their own FTO programs. 

• Starting up the Charleston Police Department’s first Street Crimes Unit. This unit was a plain clothes unit that worked mostly night shift in high crime areas and focused heavily on drug investigations. 

• Worked in the patrol division for many years. While working in the patrol division, Chief Rinehart served as both a Patrol Sergeant and Patrol Division Shift Commander when he was a Lieutenant. Chief Rinehart assisted with training new officers while serving in these positions. 

• He served as Uniform Bureau Chief during his last three years with the Charleston Police Department. While serving in this position Chief Rinehart supervised 4 patrol shifts, the FTO program, and the K-9 unit. 

On June 30th, 2007 Chief Rinehart retired from the Charleston Police Department he proudly served on for nearly 28 years. 

On July 1st, 2007 he began the next chapter in his law enforcement journey when he was appointed the Chief of the South Charleston Police Department

When Chief Rinehart was appointed, the South Charleston Police Department was only staffed with 23 officers which was understaffed by 14 officers. The understaffing and poor/limited equipment was cause for low officer morale. At the time the South Charleston Police Department only had a patrol division and a small detective unit. Due to this, Chief Rinehart made hiring and expansion a priority. Chief Rinehart also made equipment replacement and expansion a priority.


During Chief Rinehart’s administration, the police department has filled the vacancies he encountered upon his arrival and expanded the police department. Currently, the South Charleston Police Department will have 7 or 8 officers on each patrol shift (including a K-9 unit on each shift), a 4 officer detective bureau, a 3 officer street crimes unit, 2 officers in Metro Drug Unit, two school resource officers, and an occasional traffic unit. Chief Rinehart also initiated an 8 officer emergency response team. 

Chief Rinehart’s goal is for the South Charleston Police Department to have 50 sworn officers by January 1st, 2024. When this occurs, Chief Rinehart will have doubled the department size during his tenure as Chief. 

In addition to being the South Charleston Police Department Chief of Police, Chief Rinehart is also a member of the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association (WVCOPA) where until recently he served as an executive board member for more than ten years. While serving as a board member, Chief Rinehart served on the Governor’s Law Enforcement Professional Standards Information System Committee. Chief Rinehart’s service on the WVCOPA assisted with the advancement of the law enforcement profession throughout the state of West Virginia. 

Chief Rinehart has also served on the Kanawha County Metro 911 board for 3 years, the Kanawha County 911 Public Safety Grant Committee for years, and the Kanawha County Metro Drug Unit Control Board. 

In closing, Chief Rinehart has worked very hard to help the South Charleston Police Department grow in his tenure. The City of South Charleston and the South Charleston Police Department are continuing to grow ------ come grow with us!

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