The following is a press release issued by Highlands Town Manager Josh Ward:
“Town of Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell, submitted his resignation on Wednesday and informed the Mayor and me that he had accepted an offer to become the next Town of Franklin Chief of Police.
“I would like to thank Chief Harrell for his 14-plus years of service with the Highlands Police Department. During his tenure, Chief Harrell has presented strong leadership and has elevated the Highlands Police Department to a high level of professionalism. His education and training requirements for his staff have led HPD to become one of the most proficient departments in Western North Carolina.
“I congratulate Chief Harrell on his new appointment as Town of Franklin Chief of Police and I wish him the best. I know he will serve the Town of Franklin well.
“Chief Harrell’s last day will be June 1. We will soon post the vacancy and begin the search for a replacement as soon as possible.”
“On behalf of the Town of Highlands, we congratulate Chief Harrell on his new appointment as the Police Chief for the Town of Franklin. We are certain he will serve Franklin, like he has Highlands, with faithfulness and distinction,” reads a statement from Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor.
From Chief Harrell:
I would like to start by recognizing my family for their unwavering support, patience and grace for this career path we have been invested for almost 27 years and it certainly hasn’t been easy considering all the sacrifices of missed birthdays, holidays, vacations and other special occasions. They’re the bomb!
Next, I’d like to give a shout out to the Town of Highlands for their leadership’s support. It has been an incredible journey that I do not take for granted and I am forever grateful in their role of shaping me for my service there and this next chapter in my career. I am also eternally thankful for the camaraderie of my colleagues, HPD Officers and staff, ToH [Town of Highlands] staff and last but certainly not least, the ToH community. It has been a blessing beyond measure for the friendships developed and fostered by the loving hearts of the community and they will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
Now, regarding this dream from the time I was a rookie for the Town of Franklin almost 27 years ago, I am nervously excited for this opportunity. I have traveled for the experience of other agencies that would inevitably mold me for this transition and I look forward to getting to know and serve with the ToF [Town of Franklin] leadership, police department, and other ToF departments. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I am anxiously optimistic to continue to raise the bar for the police department for the betterment of public safety for everyone and I look forward to sharpening the strong talents, abilities and potential that I have recognized FPD Officers and staff possess.
Sincerely Chief B. Harrell