A disturbance in the force was felt Friday with the departure of McMinnville Police Department Lt. Chuck Taylor. After 35 years protecting and serving city residents, Taylor has retired.
“This is strange for me,” said McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton. “I remember Chuck when I first started to work here about 200 years ago, which is what it feels like."
Taylor was hired by the department in 1978 as a patrolman. He took one year off in the 1980s and then returned to the force. He advanced through the ranks to sergeant, detective and then lieutenant. Denton says he went on his first patrol with Taylor, who taught him the dos and don’ts of the job.
“I learned a lot from Chuck,” said Denton. “There were quite a few times when he would look at me and say ‘Now son, you need to stop doing that.’ When Chuck told me something, I knew I should listen.”
Taylor was given the nickname “Ponch” for his resemblance to officer Frank Poncherello, played by Erik Estrada, on the TV show “CHiPs.” The show aired from 1977-1983.
Photos of Taylor were used in a video presentation at his retirement luncheon. Among the pictures were ones of Estrada and Taylor to show the likeness. One of the final pictures was of Taylor displaying two weapons and the caption read, “Better not try to stop me from retiring.”
Taylor expressed gratitude to his co-workers.
“I’ve enjoyed working here all these years,” said Taylor. “Bryan is one of the best chiefs I’ve worked with. I feel like you folks are part of my family and I’m going to miss you. This is the best job I’ve ever had.”