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Schofield steps down as police chief
Resignation to take effect Tuesday
03.09 schofield
David Schofield submitted his resignation as Rincon police chief Thursday afternoon. City Manager Donald Toms said Schofield, who also served as interim city manager, wants to explore other opportunities. - photo by File photo

Rincon Police Chief David Schofield has resigned his position, city officials said Thursday.

Schofield submitted a letter of resignation to City Manager Donald Toms about 4 p.m. Thursday.  His resignation takes effect March 11.

“He put in his resignation to pursue other opportunities outside of law enforcement,” Toms said.

Schofield, a 38-year veteran of law enforcement, was named police chief in October 2006. He was police chief in Woodstock from 1999 to April 2006, when he retired. He was on the force in the booming southern Cherokee County city for 15 years. A Vietnam veteran, the former Marine began his police career with the Columbus Police Department in 1969.

Schofield’s background includes diplomas from the Georgia Police Command College and the FBI national academy. He also has a master’s in public administration.

“He’s been doing this for 38 years,” Toms said. “He’s had a long career.”

Schofield also served as Rincon’s interim city manager from March until August, when Toms was hired. Schofield applied for the Guyton city manager position.

“I appreciate everything he has done for the city in his time as police chief and in the time he served as interim city manager,” Mayor Ken Lee said. “I appreciate everything he has done. David is a fine man, and he’s got a lot of years of experience in law enforcement.”

Both Toms and Lee said they weren’t surprised by Schofield’s resignation.

“He was looking to make a career change,” Toms said.

Toms added Schofield will remain in the area, since the veteran cop has taken a liking to the area and has expressed his love for the fishing in the area.

“He said this is the ideal place for his retirement,” Toms said. “He wants to continue raising his family here. He wants this to be his last move. I imagine he’ll be doing some fishing.”

Schofield succeeded Mike Barton as Rincon police chief after Barton was named city manager. Schofield was named interim city manager after Barton resigned abruptly last March.

Toms said everything seemed to run smoothly in the police department under Schofield.

“We haven’t had any major issues,” he said.

In his resignation letter, Schofield wrote “I have enjoyed my time with the city. Thank your for the experience and tell the council I have enjoyed myself.”

Toms added he believes Schofield may be available to help the city when called upon.

Freddy Wagner will handle the day-to-day activities of the Rincon Police Department until a permanent replacement is hired, Toms said. Wagner has been with the city’s police department for about 13 years.

Toms had an inquiry about the position as early as Thursday afternoon, not long after he posted it on the city’s Web site and the Georgia Municipal Association’s Web site. Toms believes the position will attract a number of good candidates.

According to the ad on the GMA’s Web site, the city is “seeking a highly skilled and innovative professional to lead, direct and manage its police department. The new chief will be a community-minded leader who is committed to professionalism, innovation and excellence; is willing to implement a community-oriented policing philosophy and integrate cutting-edge technology; have highly developed communications/interpersonal skills, personal and professional integrity; and have a diverse background in all aspects of law enforcement and administration.”

The next chief will supervise a department of 14 certified personnel and two civilians. The salary will be commensurate with previous experience. The city will be looking for applicants with at least 15 years of experience and with a background in training. Preference will be given to those with supervisory experience in a city police department of at least 100 officers.