Mt. Vernon Police Chief Steps Down

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Ben Jeffords

MT. VERNON -- After 31 years of service to the Mt. Vernon community, Police Chief Chris Mendenall is stepping down. City officials announced his retirement Monday and sent along their well wishes. Of those 31 years at the Mt. Vernon Police Department, Mendenall was chief for 16.

 "After 31 years, there's a lot of memories," says Mendenall.
 
Good and bad memories that can be hard to forget. The chief says some of the best are when his department came together to make the big arrest.
 
"I guess some of the fonder ones were solving some of our unsolved homicides, like the Jana Reynolds case many years ago. It was a cold case. And then our most recent homicide that we solved, 'cause now when I retire, there's no unsolved homicides since I've been chief," he explains.
 
It's a job well-done that city employees have recognized.
 
"Chris has done a great job in creating a professional department, a department that has great respect in the region and in the community," applauds City Manager Ron Neibert.
 
Neibert says the Assistant Police Chief will take charge of the department as the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners interviews chief candidates.
 
"I think we can probably have an initial decision on the step to take within 45 to 60 days."
 
And Mendenall has plenty of advice for whoever is the next in line, "Just be very patient, it's going to be a new position and it's going to be very overwhelming for them. So not to make quick decisions and ask for advice if they need it."
     
Mendenall says it's the staff that will ultimately make the job rewarding.
 
"We've got a great bunch of people that work here, that's what makes this department so good."
   
Mendenall's last day will be Feb. 14. He'll attend his last Mt. Vernon city council meeting Monday night.
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