Pickens PD chief stepping down

PICKENS — After nearly 18 years on the force, Pickens police chief Rodney Gregory announced Monday night that he will be stepping down from his position next month.

Gregory, who said he began his law enforcement career at the Pickens Police Department in July 1997 under chief Wendell Jenkins, worked his way through the ranks, from road patrol officer to chief.

“I made Pickens my home back many years ago and will continue to live, shop and be a part of the community,” he told Pickens officials at Monday night’s city council meeting. “However, at this time I feel it necessary to end my police career.”

Gregory will retire effective July 31 to “start a new page” in his life, he said.

Gregory said he had a “great career” in Pickens and has no regrets.

Having served under three chiefs, three mayors and numerous council members, Gregory thanked the officials and people of Pickens for allowing him to be a part of the city’s government.

“Law enforcement is a tough job, and the courts and legislators make it more difficult every day,” he said. “The officers in today’s society have a tough job ahead of them, and they need the backing and support of their local government officials more than ever.

“The officers of today are not supermen or the perfect person that everyone thinks they are or should be, but just ordinary people who have to live by a higher standard, and that is why it’s important wen hiring officers not to look for the perfect person, but the honest person.”

Gregory had a bit of advice for city officials in parting.

“Please allow your department heads to make the decisions needed to run their departments — they know what is needed to efficiently run and manage their departments, or you would not have hired them.

“Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s how we learn.”

Gregory told officials the city has “an excellent group of officers who will do whatever is necessary to perform their duties in a professional manner if allowed to do so.”

“I would trust my life in any situation with each and every one of them,” he said. “I feel I am leaving this department under excellent leadership, adn they will continue to serve this community with pride and integrity.

“Thank you for allowing me to serve as your police chief.”