Dickson Public Works Director Jeff Lewis was appointed interim chief of the Dickson Police Department after Chief Rick Chandler’s retirement happened sooner than he originally announced.

Dickson Mayor Don Weiss Jr. said Wednesday that Chandler has made his pending retirement effective immediately. Weiss announced at the May 1 Dickson City Council meeting that Chandler stated he would retire July 3 after 33 years of service with the department, including the past 25 years as chief.

Weiss said he was notified Tuesday by Chandler that he is making his retirement effective immediately.

“I am confident that with his law enforcement and supervisory experience, Jeff will be able to keep the Dickson Police Department operating at its normal professional level until a new chief is named,” Weiss said. “Jeff has been overseeing a department with a budget in excess of $5 million, almost equal to the police and fire department budgets combined, with a staff comparable in size to those departments. He will rely on the men and women of the City of Dickson’s Police and Public Works departments to be a critical part of maintaining our high level of service through this transition.”

The city has already begun the process of selecting a new chief of police. Weiss named Lewis to serve as interim chief until a replacement is selected.

Lewis has worked for the City of Dickson for 29 years, starting as a police officer, then serving as director of the Parks and Recreation Department and currently is director of the Public Works Department, which includes the street, sanitation, parks, building and grounds, fleet maintenance, cemetery and right-of-way maintenance departments.

The announcement was made to supervisors in both departments Wednesday morning.

Weiss said he hopes to have a new chief named by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

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