Powell requested to remain employed by the department as an officer and remain as the dog handler for the city’s drug-detection canine. Welch said he granted Powell’s request.
“After discussions between he and I, he felt this was in his best interest and steps down because of family/personal reasons,” Welch said in a release late Friday. “I am proud of the work Andy has done, and I know he will continue to do good work for Oakman in his new role.”
Powell had been chief in the town for approximately two years, during which time the department had seen numerous improvements, grown in force and provided an increased presence at local functions.
Recently, issues with residents and the town council had marred the positive image the department and town were striving for in the new administration.
Welch said Assistant Chief Chad Gurganus would assume chief duties for the time being and would remain the acting chief until the town council made a decision on who to place in the position permanently.
Welch expressed confidence in Gurganus’ ability to handle the duties of the job until a decision is reached.