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Police chief announces resignation
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McMinnville Police Chief Charlie Sewell is saying farewell to the city of McMinnville and hello to the city of Powder Springs, Ga. His departure is scheduled for mid-August.
“McMinnville is a really nice place to live, and I don’t have a burning desire to leave,” said Chief Sewell. “It is just a matter of career advancement and the best interest of my family.”
Hired as McMinnville police chief on Sept. 14, 2006, Sewell will be leaving in mid-August to begin his new position.
“It is hard to believe five years have passed since I moved to McMinnville,” Sewell said. “I will miss the wonderful people, and I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to be successful.”
In his five years, Sewell began Citizens Police Academy, a tip sheets program, National Night Out, business surveys, residential surveys, police trading cards, and spearheaded the idea behind Smokin’ in McMinnville.
Under his leadership, McMinnville Police Department was the first in the state to receive accreditation from the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. Most recently, the department was recognized with a 2011 Tennessee Municipal League Achievement Award for Excellence in Police Services from the Tennessee Municipal League.
Powder Springs was without a permanent chief for seven months. After narrowing it down to three finalists out of 31 applicants, which included interim chief and Cobb County Police Maj. Tom Arnold, and an assistant special agent in charge of the Atlanta Field Division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Jeffery Pearce, Powder Springs city officials voted 5-0 yesterday morning to appoint Sewell.
How long will McMinnville be without a police chief?
“Deputy Chief Bryan Denton will be named interim director after Chief Sewell leaves,” said city administration David Rutherford. “I believe his last day will be Aug. 19, but that might change somewhat.”
Rutherford says Sewell has done much for the department and is leaving it in solid shape.
“He has raised the standard of professionalism in the department. He started a lot of good training programs. He is leaving us in good shape, probably better than it has ever been.”
The same sentiments were shared by McMinnville Mayor Norman Rone.
“I think he is one of the best police chiefs we have ever had,” Rone said. “He has helped the department a tremendous amount. I really enjoy the articles he writes for the paper. I have been really impressed with the programs he has started and his organization of the department. It is running extremely well.”
Rone says Sewell’s positive impact has extended into the community.
“He has also made a positive impact on the city with the Citizens Police Academy program and those tip sheets. We were lucky to have him. I can see why Powder Springs wants him. I’m going to miss him, but I wish him the best.”
Chief Sewell says he will be leaving with fond memories of McMinnville, in particular one joke at his expense just shortly after he moved into town.
“I always enjoyed the caricature Seth did of me at Christmas time with my Christmas ladder,” he said.
Unable to unpack the family’s Christmas tree, Sewell and his wife decorated their ladder instead. It was featured in an edition of the Southern Standard. Composing supervisor Seth Wright did a caricature of Charlie Brown saying “Good Grief!” looking at the Christmas ladder.
“When I first saw it, I didn’t know what to think,” Sewell said. “I didn’t know if I should be offended or what. My wife started laughing and so did I. I then made copies and sent them to everyone I knew.”
No plans have yet been set to permanently fill the position when Sewell leaves.