Monday, January 20, 2014
The search is now underway for a new police chief for the Town of Andrews.
Six months after Joseph Cooper was hired as the police chief, he has left to return to the Lake City Police Department - which is where he worked before July. It is also where he was born and raised.
He is now the Lake City assistant police chief and is expected to be promoted to chief next month.
Cooper told the Georgetown Times Tuesday he had no idea his tenure in Andrews would be so short. But a series of events in his hometown's police force caused his plans to change.
Billy Brown, Lake City's police chief, is retiring next month but has been on medical leave for quite some time.
Brown has cancer, which is something Cooper found out during a recent visit.
Interim Chief, Lt. John Kelly, retired at the end of December.
Cooper said he was concerned about the department in his hometown because of the two vacancies at the top.
He said it was hard to leave Andrews but emphasized he was not using the department as a stepping stone. He said no one knew what was going to happen in Lake City after he left that department.
“The people (in Andrews) are great. We were closing cases,” he said.
Andrews Mayor Rodney Giles said he was surprised by Cooper's decision.
“I thought everything was going well. He did a great job turning the department around,” Giles said.
Andrews Town Council member Patsy Greene said she is “disappointed” Cooper left the town.
“I really like him. I thought he was doing a good job,” Greene said. “He walked in the door working hard. I am proud of what he has done for Andrews.”
Cooper said reports that he has continued to live in Lake City were incorrect.
“I have lived in Georgetown since right after I took the job. In fact, I still live in Georgetown until I find a place,” he said.
Giles said until Cooper's replacement is hired, the duties of the town's chief will be shared by Officers Timothy Taylor and Oliver Nesmith.