Douglasville Police Chief ponders early retirement

Image 1 of 22

In what may be a sign of things to come, the words Chief Chris Womack are a ghostly image where the sticker of his name has been removed from Douglasville Police Squad Cars.

With a unanimous vote, the city council approved an early retirement policy which allows employees 48-years-old chief to retire with two work years credit.

Chief Womack, who is 48, said the early retirement package was in response to his offer to the city.

"They basically gave me a counter offer this evening. It sounds like I've got about a week. I'm going to do some praying about it. If I accept this opportunity. It would allow me basically to step down a couple of years earlier," said Chief Chris Womack.

The chief returned to the job in June after being suspended with pay since May. An independent review by the Coweta County Sheriff's Office cleared him of any wrong doing in allegations he used excessive force against a driver on Interstate 20.

The chief, who is appointed, serves at the pleasure of the council. He says the council is offering an exit pla wkb the retirement policy change. But Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons said he can't discuss personnel matters connected to the retirement plan.

"It's an early retirement plan and there is certain criteria that is set forth for that and anyone that fits within that criteria would certainly be able to take advantage of it," said Mayor Harvey Persons.

Chief Womack said with thirty years of service at the Douglasville Police Department, he is now considering what is best for his family and future. But he does say it hurt him personally when his name was removed.

"When I was brought back to work I was told to remove my name from vehicles and don't order paraphernalia with my name so that was sort of a message," said Chief Womack.

The mayor would not acknowledge the removal of the decals with the chief’s name, but said he did not know of any other police department's where squad cars were marked with the name of the police chief.