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Thomson assistant police chief resigns

The City of Thomson now has one less police official, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.

Jerry Stanphill quit his job as assistant police chief last Friday morning, according to Thomson Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson.

Earlier this year, Mr. Stanphill announced his resignation from the police department after 22 years. The resignation letter came shortly after he failed in his attempt to become the new police chief. He had hoped to replace longtime former chief John Hathaway, whom he served under for years until Mr. Hathaway's retirement earlier this year.

Chief Nelson, a former investigator with the Washington Police Department, was unanimously selected to become the new police chief about two months ago.

Instead of resigning, Mr. Stanphill had a change of heart and decided to stay on at the police department. That was the case at least until Friday when he and Chief Nelson talked about some matters and he decided to turn in his badge, gun and other items belonging to the police department. Later that afternoon, he returned to the police department, turned in his patrol car, keys and some clothing items before meeting with Chief Nelson for a second time that day.

"I think this is in the best interest for me and my family for me to move on," Mr. Stanphill said during an interview with Morris News Service on Friday afternoon.

Mr. Stanphill, who also works as a resource officer with the McDuffie County School System, said he plans to return to that job next school year.

He is assigned to Thomson-McDuffie County Junior High School.

"I love that job," Mr. Stanphill said. "That's been where my heart has been the last year. I love the interaction that I have with the school kids there."

Chief Nelson said he wishes Mr. Stanphill the best in the future. He had not decided who might fill that position.

Mr. Stanphill started his career as a road patrol officer before being promoted to an investigator.

He later rose to the rank of second in command of the police department following the retirement of former assistant chief John Hollimon.

Web posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010

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