(MITCHELL) - Suspended Mitchell Police Chief Jim Richardson officially submitted his resignation over the weekend, and, according to Mitchell Mayor Dan Terrell, it was at the request of the Mayor's office.
Now, the two seem to be in a dispute over what happened, how and why. Richardson was required to complete 120 hours of specific training within 6 months, and he says he completed more than 120 hours, just not all the required courses.
However, Richardson also tells WBIW News he just didn't have the amount of time necessary to get the training, but when confronted with this information, Mayor Terrell responded by saying, "He absolutely had time to get the training done, and I'm going to leave it at that."
Terrell also said that the decision was made, in part, because sometimes it's time to just, "move on," and that he felt some of the officers may have lost confidence in Richardson, but that he also respects the man and wishes him well.
Richardson, on the other hand, says he is proud of what he has done, including the new department headquarters and cameras, and will now use the intervening time to rest from the constant 12-13 hour days he says were the norm.
In the interim, Assistant Chief Steve Blair will be acting Chief of Police for Mitchell, however, neither Richardson nor Terrell would express an opinion of Blair. However, Terrell said that he was capable with his 10 or so years of experience, he also said three others in the department are eligible to be named, since the primary threshold for Chief service is to have more than 5 years of law enforcement experience.
Though Terrell couldn't commit to an ironclad timeline, he did tell WBIW News that he hoped to have a new chief named within the next couple of months.
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