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2012-06-14 digital edition

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2012-06-14 / Front Page

Lexington’s Chief of Police Resigns

Lexington’s Chief of Police, Jerry Bowden, submitted a letter of resignation to the Mayor and City Council members on Sunday, June 10, citing financial and health issues as the reason.

After being absent from work due to health issues, which began in late February of this year, the City Council voted to grant the Chief a 30 day unpaid leave of absence, beginning on April 1, 2012. He was expected to return to the job in May; however, has not been able to do so.

According to his letter of resignation, his wife now suffers from a medical problem and his health is once again good. In the letter he writes, “It is with great regret that I submit my letter of resignation as your Chief of Police. This is not an action that I take lightly. In fact, I do not wish to resign at all, but the past year has placed a heavy burden on me and my family. Our continued efforts to sell our home in Orange have been unsuccessful and we can no longer bear the financial burden that is inherent with two monthly notes, two sets of utility bills, two sets of grocery bills, and the costs in travelling back and forth from Orange County to Lee County by my wife every 7 days. My recent emergency surgery has also further drained our finances. I have now been cleared for duty by my physician, but another situation has presented itself. My wife is now suffering from a very serious health problem and will soon require surgery. Therefore, I am unable to be there to serve you in the manner you deserve.”

Bowden said he enjoyed working for the citizens of Lexington and that he is proud of his accomplishments, “…the most important being building the Police Department from the ground up with new, professional, and ethical Officers.”

He came to the job as Chief following a lengthy time of upheaval for the department where the former chief and his officers were accused of improper handling of their jobs.

Bowden continued in his letter, “I am happy to have written a new, comprehensive Policy and Procedure Manual for the Lexington Police Department, complete with Rules and Regulations, a Code of Professional Conduct, and General Orders in order to regulate the activities of the Police Department, to better serve the citizenry, and to shield the City of Lexington from undue civil liability.”

He also praised Captain Clarence Yarbrough, who has been acting as the leading official in the department during Bowden’s absence. Bowden said of Yarbrough, “He is professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated. I would be remiss if I failed to recommend Captain Yarbrough as my replacement.”

Despite his resignation, Bowden said he and his wife still plan to move to Lexington when her health crisis is over.

Bowden served as the Chief of Police for the City after being sworn in on June 30, 2011.

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