MBPD chief to officers: 'The City intends to pursue a new direct - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

MBPD chief to officers: 'The City intends to pursue a new direction, so I will respect that decision and step aside'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach officials announced the retirement of Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall just before 12 p.m. on Saturday.

In a personal message to the staff of the Myrtle Beach Police Department emailed out just after midnight, before the official announcement was made, Gall said he wanted the staff to hear the news from him.

“I cannot reach each of you individually to tell you in person,” he wrote, “although that would be my preference.”

Throughout his email to the police department, the chief reiterated how proud he is of the work they have done, saying, “I have nothing but praise, admiration, and love for this department and its professional staff. I tell everyone who will listen that this is the best department in the country.”

He also wrote, “The City intends to pursue a new direction, so I will respect that decision and step aside.”

Gall warned the staff not to worry about the “haters” or “to let a few malcontents and antagonists ruin our department.”

In the statement to the media released Saturday, city manager John Pederson said, “With Chief Gall’s retirement, the city has an opportunity to seek new direction and leadership for the department.”

When asked to speak more about Gall’s retirement on Monday, Pederson wrote in an email, “I am not doing interviews on this subject. I’ve said what I have to say on this matter.”

Full text of Chief Gall’s retirement to staff:

Thursday, May 27, 2017 will mark the end of my 37 year career with the MBPD.  I will join the ranks of those we refer to as "retired".  I have nothing but praise, admiration, and love for this department and its professional staff.  I tell everyone who will listen that this is the best department in the country.  We are unique, we are leaders in our profession, and we continue to provide the highest level of services despite the tremendous challenges.

The city will release a statement tomorrow.  I cannot reach each of you individually to tell you in person, although that would be my preference.  While this is way too impersonal, it is necessary so that you don't hear it from the media first.

The City intends to pursue a new direction, so I will respect that decision and step aside.  I leave with a great sense of pride in this family, a family that has become an important part of my life for 37 years.  I will continue to expect all of you to exceed the standards of service, integrity, and loyalty, because you are Myrtle Beach PD.

Please give Chief Prock your absolute best effort and unquestionable support.  If she is to take this department to the next level, the best and brightest need to step up and demonstrate the leadership skills that will result in success.

My hope and dream for you all is to be successful, and to be the department everyone else wants to be like "when they grow up".

I will pray for your safety and follow your progress from a distance.  I'm a private person in a highly public position, but intend to avoid (as much as possible) the media in the next few days.  The focus needs to be on Memorial Day Weekend and the busy times ahead.  Just know that I'm okay.  I truly believe that when one door closes, another opens.  I am looking forward to seeing what is behind Door #2.

I'm sure this news will fire up the "haters" out there.  I don't have time to worry about that, and neither should you.  We have accomplished so much to let a few malcontents and antagonists ruin our department.  I have always preached taking the high road.  It works.

Good luck, be safe and remember that you all have a special place in my heart.  I will always be MBPD!

Find more information about Chief Gall's retirement here.

WMBF News asked Mayor John Rhodes whether Gall's retirement was his choice, or was it because of pressure to have a change in leadership. 

"That I can’t answer. As far as I’m concerned, that was his choice," Rhodes said.

The retirement comes right before Bikefest.

"That was strictly Chief Gall’s decision," Rhodes said. "I think Chief Gall probably looked at that. It was time to move on and he made the decision as to when he wanted to do it. There was no pressure put on the chief as to if you’re going to retire, tell us when, you’ve got this time. That was totally his choice.”

Rhodes added the city was trying to go in some different directions and Gall felt in order for the city to be able to do that, he would have to let somebody else take charge.

“We have to have more enforcement on the boulevard and in that area. We have to let people know that we’re not going to tolerate any of the crime that’s being generated. This is not just the new direction, it’s the direction we’ve been going in this year." he said. "Chief Gall understands that. Chief Prock understands that. We have to clean that boulevard up.”

Rhodes didn’t specify exactly what the difference in opinion was about between the city manager and Gall.

"The city manager made that decision, that if they cannot see eye to eye that maybe it was time to address the issues of where do we go from here and if the chief felt like there was no compromise, then I guess he decided it was time to retire," he said.

Rhodes said he looks forward to finding out what Assistant Chief Amy Prock will propose for the future as the new interim chief.

“We’re going to give Chief Prock every opportunity to show what she’s able to do as a leader," he said. "I have all the confidence in the world that she’s going to be able to do that.”

The city will evaluate Prock’s performance at the end of the summer season and then decide the future of police leadership from there, Rhodes said. Because of that, the search for a new chief is not starting right now.

“She’s really well respected within the community of the police officers. I really feel that she’s going to be accepted by them with open arms as to being the new interim chief." Rhodes said. "They want to give her every opportunity to prove that she’s worthy of that position.”.

Gall will be available to the department in a consulting capacity into November and he’ll be on the city’s payroll because he has accumulated leave time and the department has a three-month transition period, city spokesperson Mark Kruea said.

As for going through Bikefest without Gall, Rhodes said Prock is very familiar with the plans.

"Chief Prock has been one of the key components to organizing the loop and making everything go," he said.

Gall first retired in December 2010, but he was rehired, Kruea said.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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