ARDMORE -- The Ardmore police department is now looking for a new chief. Chief Jim Hughes asked the city manager Thursday for permission to retire after just three years in Ardmore. Chief Hughes said after three decades in law enforcement it's time to pursue other interests.
Hughes' announcement comes on the heels of a strategic planning program the city launched in September to gage the police departments strengths and weaknesses.
Mayor John Moore wants to make the force more visible in neighborhoods but says that's difficult. The patrol division is down five officers and officials cannot remember the last time they were at to full-staff.
City manager Dan Parrott says Hughes inherited the department at a tough time when morale was low and the crime rate moderately higher. Officials hope when the strategic plan report is released next month they can bring the force to the next level.
"It's a great opportunity for someone to rebuild department five to six vacancies undergo study consultant come in talk about vision, issues, problems to use as road map for the future," Parrott said.
Patrol division lieutenant John Ryan will serve as interim until commissioners name a new chief. He's been with the department for more than 20 years and Parrott says he believes Ryan has what it takes to hold the force together.