West Columbia police chief aiming to be the county's top cop

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall is planning to run for Lexington County Sheriff.

WEST COLUMBIA (WACH/AP) - West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall is planning to run for Lexington County Sheriff.

A spokesperson for Tyndall said Tuesday night the majority of West Columbia council approved a resolution that would allow Tyndall to run for public office while still serving as police chief.

Council members said the approval comes with the understanding that Tyndall's campaigning will not interfere with his police chief duties.

Tyndall has been the West Columbia Police Chief for 17 years and in law enforcement for more than 30 years.

Two other potential candidates have said they plan to run for sheriff in 2016, however, an election could come sooner depending on the outcome of the federal trial of suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.

Tyndall began his law enforcement career at the Department of Corrections and became a West Columbia Police Officer in 1984. He worked his way up through the ranks to Chief of Police and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1995.

Under his leadership, the West Columbia Police Department has become one of excellence.

In 2007, the Department was awarded the Municipal Associationâ??s Achievement Award for innovation in dealing with Family Violence. In 2008, the Department was recognized as one of the Top Fifty Innovations in Government for the U.S. according to Harvard University.

Lexington County Elections director Dean Crepes said a special election could occur before 2016 if Metts resigns or is convicted of a crime.

Metts was indicted last month

. Authorities say he took bribes from a restaurant owner to help his workers who were in the country illegally and had been detained by the police.

Agents did search two officers at the sheriff's department last week. Court documents released Monday show the agents took computers, appointment books, written notes, incident reports, an iPhone and a cassette tape in a recorder attached to a telephone in

Metts' office.

Court records show Lexington County Sheriff James Metts has a pretrial conference scheduled for September 3. Jury selection is currently scheduled to happen later that month.

Gov. Nikki Haley has suspended Metts from office, and

Lewis McCarty

is serving as acting sheriff.