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Rodgers steps down

By Michael Butler

Tallassee police chief Jimmy Rodgers is leaving the department. Rodgers had served more than 20 years in Tallassee on the force.

"It has been approximately half my lifetime since I began my career with the Tallassee Police Department," Rodgers said. "So many blessings and friendships have come along the journey. Now it's time to pass the torch, so to speak. God has other plans."

Rodgers resignation was accepted at the city council meeting on Monday night. New Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock spoke about the significance of finding the right replacement to lead the department.

"This is probably the most important job in Tallassee. I think it's more important than the mayor or anybody else," Hammock said. "We've got to be selective. We're not going to rush just to fill a spot."

Hammock said that the job listing will be posted this week and that a committee to handle the hiring will be put into place. In the meantime, assistant chief Ken Smith will be the acting chief.

"Chief Rodgers is a great man," Hammock added. "We were going to open the position for internal and external (applicants). He decided to move on. We're going to have to go in a different direction now. Hopefully we'll get someone as good as Jimmy or better. I wish him well and godspeed."

Rodgers did comment on perceptions about the police department.

"It irritates me to hear people speak of officers and the department being crooked or incompetent, when I know the exact opposite. Over the last six to seven years, this agency has been investigated thoroughly by federal and state agencies. All of these investigations were found to encompass the entire staff and department operations in general but failed to indicate anything related to a mass operating of misconduct, only individual officers who made incorrect decisions in their lives.

"A reputation is something easily tarnished, whether justifiably or not. I leave this agency, in hopes that my reputation, speaks for itself, someone who never placed importance on a badge, but what's underneath the badge. If we lose the heart for people, we lose our purpose. I stand by my faith and faith in the people within the agency and outside. I know God will guide my family and I into a new season, and His hand will be seen in this community also."

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