Courtesy of the Montgomery County Police Department

Montgomery County Police this week announced the passing of retired Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds, who died May 22 at age 56 after being diagnosed with cancer over two years ago.

“Chief Reynolds was a tremendous leader in Montgomery County, and he touched many people in our community beyond the police department,” Police Chief Marcus Jones wrote in a statement. “We all are deeply saddened by his passing, yet we know his legacy will live on with the impact he left as a humble and public servant.  Our department is forever grateful to have had one of the greatest police leaders of our time.”

Reynolds grew up in Gaithersburg and served with county police under various titles for nearly three decades, most recently as assistant police chief, a role he assumed in 2013.

During his time with Montgomery County Police, Reynolds faced several notable challenges. He served as Bethesda’s district commander during the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center campuses needed protection. He also played a significant role in the department’s implementation of body-worn cameras in 2015.

He received national attention for spearheading the implementation of the Drug Market Initiative Program, aimed at curbing drug activity in Damascus Gardens, according to a press release. He also led the deployment of Montgomery County officers to Baltimore City to assist with responding to civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray, a young Baltimore resident who sustained fatal injuries while in police custody.

In 2018, Reynolds retired from Montgomery County Police and months later assumed leadership of the Charleston Police Department in South Carolina.


“I feel rooted here,” he told MoCo360 at the time of his departure. “It sounds kind of corny, but I really love Montgomery County, and I have a deep love for the men and women of our police department, the people in our community.”

Reynolds announced his cancer diagnosis in November 2021, according to local news reports in South Carolina. He made the decision to end his treatment and enter hospice care in mid-May, according to a community letter he penned on May 17, published by the Charleston Police Department.

“I’m thankful that I will be able to spend these [final] days in the city I’ve come to love, surrounded by family and friends,” he wrote. “It is the last great gift in a life that’s been full of them.”


Several officials took to Twitter to express their condolences to Reynold’s friends and family, including U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D).

“He’ll be forever missed by his friends across the government and our community,” Elrich wrote.

Reynolds passed away with his wife and children at his side. Montgomery County Police recommended that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Sarcoma Research Center.