Fayetteville police chief announces retirement

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Harold Medlock announced his retirement effective at the end of December.

Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock announced his retirement Tuesday at a news conference outside police headquarters on Hay Street.

Medlock, 59, said it's also his retirement from police work after a 28-year career.

"I am the luckiest man in the world to be able to have done this job," Medlock said.

His retirement is effective at the end of December, but Medlock said he is taking a leave of absence to repair a torn rotator cuff and bicep in October. He will remain with the department through September.

"It's time to take care of myself; take care of my family," Medlock said.

The chief became emotional as he thanked God, his wife, Gloria, city officials and law enforcement staff and partners.

"There's several things that have happened over the last weeks and months that have led me to this decision," Medlock said. "First, I have been working at this pace and most of the folks that work with me are going to be shocked to hear it, but I've been working at this pace since 2004, since I was a division commander in Charlotte, and I didn't remember that until my wife shared that with me the other week."

Asked if he would consider a return to police work or other employment, the chief said he had no other job prospects.

"If a major retailer offered me a job as a greeter, I might take them up for that," he joked.

The chief also said he knew it was "time" to step down. He reiterated that his health issues were a major factor but said: "I recognize for a lot of reasons it's time."

As for a transition period, he directed questions to Fayetteville's interim city manager, Doug Hewett.

"One of the things we need to look at, is someone who can continue the strong work (of Medlock's) and take it to the next level," Hewett said.

He also said he'll work with Medlock during the next few weeks on a recruitment strategy.

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