Cover photo for Chief Luther Thomas Reynolds's Obituary
Chief Luther Thomas Reynolds Profile Photo

Chief Luther Thomas Reynolds

July 11, 1966 — May 22, 2023


Chief Luther Thomas Reynolds


In Loving Memory of Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds

Charleston and the law enforcement community at large mourn the loss of an extraordinary leader and beacon of strength, as Chief of Police Luther Reynolds passed away on May 22, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. Chief Reynolds died peacefully with his family by his side.

Luther was not only a dedicated law enforcement professional, but a man of deep faith, compassion, and love. His steadfast commitment to justice, coupled with his kindness, touched the lives of countless people, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who knew him.

Born July 11, 1966, to Homer and Trudy Reynolds and the youngest of three boys, Luther grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. After losing his mother to cancer as a child, Luther was called to a life of service from an early age. His journey in law enforcement began with the Montgomery County Police Department, where he served for more than thirty years and exemplified dedication and professionalism. Luther’s strong work ethic, unwavering integrity, and genuine care for others quickly distinguished him as an exceptional leader and he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief.

In 2018, Luther embarked on a new chapter of his career as he accepted the role of Chief of Police in Charleston. It was in this esteemed position that he truly shone as a compassionate leader, a man of God, and a staunch advocate for the community. Luther’s faith was the bedrock of his character, guiding his actions and shaping his interactions with others. His love for humanity was evident in the way he treated his officers, community members, and all those he met.

Chief Reynolds received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Florida State University and a Master of Science Degree in Business with a concentration in Information Systems Technology from Johns Hopkins University. He was a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Law Enforcement Executive Development School, FBI National Executive Institute, Major Cities Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Institute, and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police. Chief Reynolds was appointed as the Executive Director of the FBI National Executive Institute Associates in 2020 and served in that role as well as on the Board of Directors for the Police Executive Research Forum until his death.

Chief Reynolds embraced the principles of compassion and love in his approach to policing. He recognized that true justice required not only the enforcement of laws, but also understanding, empathy, and healing. Luther endeavored to build bridges of trust and understanding, fostering an environment of respect and collaboration between law enforcement and the citizens they served. Under his benevolent leadership, the Charleston Police Department flourished, gaining the admiration and trust of the community.

Luther’s impact extended far beyond the confines of his profession. He was known for his humility, boundless empathy, open heart, and genuine care for the well-being of others. He took the time to listen to people’s concerns and offered a comforting presence during difficult times. Whether it was lending a helping hand to a troubled person, or offering words of encouragement to his colleagues, Luther’s love knew no bounds.

Outside of his work, Luther was a devoted family man. His love for his wife, Caroline, and children, Luke and Grace, as well as innumerable additional family members, was immeasurable. He found joy in their presence, cherishing every moment they shared. His faith and love for God permeated every aspect of his life, and he served as a shining example of living with kindness, grace, and humility.

Today, as we honor the life and legacy of Chief Luther Reynolds, we reflect upon the profound impact he had on the Charleston community. His unwavering commitment to justice, his embodiment of compassion and love, and his deep faith will forever inspire those who follow in his footsteps. Luther’s legacy will continue to shape lives, reminding us all of the transformative power of a heart dedicated to service.

Luther is survived by his beloved family – his wife, Caroline; son, Luke and his wife, Jennifer; daughter, Grace; and brothers Dave and Mark, as well as his silly double doodle, Blue Bell, who supported him throughout his journey and brought infinite joy to his life. During this difficult time, we pray that they find solace and comfort in the knowledge that Luther’s legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched and the positive change he brought to the world.

Rest in peace, Chief. Your character will forever be remembered as an enduring testament to the power of a life well-lived and to the incredible person you were. Though you may be gone from our sight, your spirit lives on in the hearts of all whose lives you touched.  

The family will receive friends on Sunday, May 28, 2023, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, West Ashley.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at Seacoast Church, 750 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. For anyone unable to attend, a livestream will be here:

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center Sarcoma Research Program!/donation/checkout.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414, (843) 722-8371.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Chief Luther Thomas Reynolds, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, May 28, 2023

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation

2201 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Seacoast Christian Community Church

750 Long Point Road, Mt. Pleasant, 29464

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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