Rafford steps downPublished 12:44pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Alexander City Police Chief Charles Rafford will be resigning from his post later this month.
Rafford, whose final day will be May 29, said that he was worked almost 26 years in law enforcement and is leaving his job to spend time with his family.
“I have decided to leave my position with the city and face some new challenges on the horizon,” Rafford said. “My wife and I bought a home in Tennessee a couple of years ago with the plan that we would eventually retire there. I have been given the opportunity to move there sooner, and after talking with my wife, that is what we have chosen to do.”
Rafford was appointed as ACPD chief in 2007. Prior to that, Rafford served on the Birmingham Police Department for 20 years. Rafford was reappointed as police chief in November 2012.
Mayor Charles Shaw said that the city has accepted Rafford’s resignation.
“We accepted it, but we didn’t want to,” Shaw said. “He has done a great job with the department, and I think he is leaving it in a good condition for someone to take over.”
Shaw said he has heard rumors around town that the resignation was forced and that Rafford was currently under investigation. None of these rumors, Shaw said, are true.
“This was his option – he is by no means being forced out,” Shaw said. “It was a shock to us when he brought us his letter, but I can understand him wanting to spend more time with his family. Any problem I have ever brought to him he has always come back to me with an answer. He has done a very capable job as chief, and I would recommend him for whatever job he seeks (after he leaves Alexander City).”
Rafford said he was proud to serve as police chief while he was here.
“I always wanted to be a chief of police and have the opportunity to lead a police department and put things in place that I had learned during my 20-year career in Birmingham,” Rafford said. “We are very fortunate and lucky to have the people that work for our police department in place. Hopefully, we have together as a team moved this department forward and made it more professional to better serve the community.”
Shaw said the city council will be tasked with appointing a replacement for Rafford. The council can choose to promote someone from within the department or can open the search up statewide and also reserves the option to name an interim chief while the search for a full-time replacement is performed.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity that Mayor Young gave me to serve as police chief in Alexander City,” Rafford said. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve in this capacity. My wife and I are most happy in Tennessee, however, and we realize that we are not promised tomorrow. This is what we want to do, and we have decided to go ahead and do it.”