TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) - Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock confirms the Tallassee City Council accepted longtime Police Chief Jimmy Rogers' resignation this week.
Assistant Police Chief Ken Smith is currently serving as acting chief, he has also put his name in the running for job.
Hammock says the city plans to open a national search to find the police department's new leader. The position is expected to be posted as early as Thursday and will be advertised no fewer than seven days. Hammock doesn't want to rush the process but hopes to have a new chief on the job by early 2017.
Rogers was invited to apply for his job, instead he left on his own terms and tendered his resignation on Monday. The council accepted the resignation in an unanimous vote.
"He felt he needed to explore other options with his personal life as well," Hammock said. "We wish him all the best."
Hammock says the desire to open a national search had little to do with Rogers and more to do with wanting a stronger police force for Tallassee.
"I felt morale was low at the department, there was some turmoil with some who came to speak with me," Hammock explained. "Again I think Chief Rogers did the best he could do with what he had. We didn't ask him to leave we just wanted to explore our options and he resigned."
Hammock is looking for proven leader with extensive experience on the streets and in administration to manage the 20-plus officers and $1.6 million budget plagued with overtime.
"Even though we are a small town, we have to think on a larger scale," Hammock said. "We want to work with that police chief and give him everything we can within our means."
Tallassee's new police will also be tasked with the job of rebuilding relationships with the community and other law enforcement agencies.
"That's a top priority to mend bridges with other agencies we have not been working with in the past," Hammock explained.
Two assistant police chiefs who served under Rogers were independently convicted in state and federal courts for ethics violations, stealing from the evidence locker and coercing confessions.
Amy Davis was convicted on numerous felony ethics violations for unlawfully accessing criminal records for personal gain.
Chris Miles is currently in federal prison, serving time for violating the civil rights of a prisoner who was in the Tallassee Jail and for stealing marijuana from the department's evidence locker and selling it on the street. Miles is also serving a concurrent state sentence for theft for stealing a gun out of the department's evidence locker.
The defendant whose civil rights were violated is also in state prison. Chris Miles pleaded guilty to federal charges of beating a confession out of defendant Stephen Conrad for child sex abuse counts. Miles was the case agent and helped indict Conrad on more than 100 child sex abuse counts. When law enforcement exposed Miles for coercing the confessions, the case was dropped and re-indicted.
Conrad later pleaded guilty to four counts of child abuse. Miles was arrested by U.S. Marshals when he didn't report to federal prison.
WSFA's attempts to reach Rogers by phone have been unsuccessful.