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franklin county times

Police chief turns in badge

By Staff
SUCCESSION Meridian's chief administrative officer, Ken Storms looks on as retiring Police Chief Gregg Lewis speaks at a press conference Thursday. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
June 15, 2001
After seven years at the helm of the Meridian Police Department, Chief Gregg Lewis announced his resignation Thursday, citing the "heavy toll" the office has taken on him.
Lewis said his last day at the department has not been determined, but added it will be in "the next several weeks."
The 43-year-old chief has been a member of the MPD since 1979. He said being a police officer has often meant personnel sacrifices at the expense of his family. On Thursday, he said it's time to reverse those priorities.
Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith did not attend the press conference announcing Lewis' retirement. He is on a three-week sabbatical at Harvard University, studying government.
Lewis said he will not have any regrets about his time at the police department, and denied that the recent mayoral election had any impact on his decision. He said he and the mayor remain "close, personal friends."
City officials said they do not know who will serve as interim chief, or who will succeed Lewis.
Storms said city officials will look at both interdepartmental candidates and those outside the department in searching for a new police chief.
Lewis said will return to the classroom, first as a student and then a teacher. He plans to earn a degree and then teach American history.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.
Here's a look at retiring Police Chief Gregg Lewis' law enforcement career.
Joined the Meridian Police Department in 1979 after a serving four years in the United States Marine Corps.
Promoted to sergeant in 1986.
Promoted to lieutenant in 1988.
Promoted to captain in 1992.
Appointed chief of police July 20, 1994.
Recipient of the "Meritorious Service Medal," the MPD's highest commendation.
Recipient of the J. Edgar Hoover Medal for Distinguished Public Service.