Florence’s police chief says he has retired from his post to take on a new job for the city.
The city announced in a statement Monday that Police Chief Anson Shells will be retiring from the force to move into the city’s newly-created post of “Community Relations Commander.” The announcement said Shells was facing mandatory retirement from the Florence Police Department this year.
Shells said he retired Monday morning and moved into the new job by that afternoon. Deputy Chief of Police Allen Heidler will become the interim police chief.
According to the city’s announcement, Shells requested this new position upon his retirement. The city says the purpose of a community relations commander will be to help revitalize neighborhoods where there are vacant and abandoned buildings. Shells previously served as a community relations liaison with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
“Former Chief Shells has accepted an opportunity to be a vital part of the City’s future success in revitalizing our neighborhoods,” the city said in a statement. “We know that crime and the perception of crime will be a significant road block to the success of revitalizing our neighborhoods. We also accept that it takes a unique individual with years of experience within the City of Florence and policing in general to bridge the gap between residents and the implementation of revitalization strategies.”