Phil Reta has been hired as the new chief and will begin his duties with Prosperity on March 15.
Reta has worked with the Sheriff’s Office for 13-years and is currently the department’s training officer. He is also the president of the statewide Gang Association, which is a group of law enforcement officials working on gang problems.
Reta said he wants Prosperity to be a good place to live and is sending a message to all criminals that they need to start relocating or they will go to jail.
“I am extremely excited about the addition of Chief Reta,” said Prosperity Mayor Derek Underwood. “He brings a wealth or knowledge, experience, and professionalism to our town, having worked for Sheriff Lee Foster.
“Phil was the perfect choice to restructure and improve our police department. I hope everyone in Prosperity and Newberry County welcomes Chief Reta and gives him their full support and confidence.”
Reta will work in conjunction with Benji Sease, the town’s former police chief, whose hiring as police administrator/coordinator was made official at the town council’s Feb. 23 meeting.
The police chief position opened up in November when then Police Chief Craig Nelson resigned amidst allegations that funds were missing from the police department’s evidence locker. The investigation into the missing funds is ongoing.
The town currently has two patrol officers on staff, but one is out on a family medical leave.
There remains an opening for a third officer.