SALEM - City Police Chief Bob Floor said he's given the administration a head's-up that he's planning to retire next winter, even though he hasn't submitted anything official in writing.
Floor will reach the 30-year mark in January and said he's looking at Feb. 1 as his retirement date.
"I'm just ready to move on to the next step in my life," he said Thursday.
Salem Police Chief Robert Floor
Floor worked for two-and-a-half years as a part-time patrolman in the village of Lisbon before being hired as a full-time patrolman for the city on Jan. 3, 1983. He made sergeant on July 21, 1995 and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on May 26, 2001.
When former Chief Mike Weitz decided to retire, Floor took the chief's exam and was named chief effective March 31, 2006.
In the last few years, he started looking at retirement and said he's been planning for it financially.
"I've had a very good career. I've enjoyed it very much and I like the idea that I get to leave on a high note," he said.
He said he has no plans to go back into law enforcement during retirement like some other retirees have done. He just plans to "do more relaxing and enjoy life."
Just as he had to do when he became chief, any lieutenants interested in the job will have to take an examination administered by the Salem Civil Service Commission once the fact that he's leaving becomes official. If there's only one interested, he said they'll have to open the test up to sergeants, too, and they'll all compete.
Floor leaving will create a domino effect and keep the Civil Service Commission busy giving examinations later this year or the beginning of next year. If a lieutenant gets the job, that will open up a lieutenant's spot to be filled by a sergeant. Then a spot will open up at sergeant, which will in turn open up a patrolman's spot.
The Finance Committee of city council will be addressing the possible addition of a sergeant to the police force so the sergeant who's currently assigned part-time to the Columbiana County Drug Task Force can be assigned there full-time. Floor had said another sergeant would be needed to supervise shifts. If that happens, they'll have an opening for another patrolman since a patrolman would move into the new sergeant's position.
He's also requested the creation of a part-time secretary's position. He lost his full-time police department secretary when there were layoffs.
Mayor John Berlin confirmed that Floor gave him and Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst a heads-up that he was checking on retirement, but that he had not received any official retirement notification in the form of a letter, which will be necessary.
Since the city is under a statutory form of government, he explained the Civil Service Commission must administer tests to qualified applicants from within the police and fire departments to fill vacancies, usually the rank below the rank of the vacancy. They don't have the option to go outside of the department for a chief or the other ranks except in the case of patrolman.
Berlin gave credit to Floor for his foresight in trying to secure what he believes the department needs even though he's planning to leave.
"He has plans that go long beyond his tenure," he said, noting he's fighting for whomever will succeed him.
Floor said he wants to have the department ready to move on when he goes and would like to have some time with the chief-to-be before he leaves.