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City of Miami Tries to Lure Back Retiring Police Chief - KOAM TV 7

City of Miami Tries to Lure Back Retiring Police Chief

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Updated September 9, 2013: Back in July we reported that the Police Chief in Miami, Oklahoma would step down from his position. Now over a month later, Miami still has Police Chief George Haralson listed as the head of the department. And the city tells us, they are hoping to keep it that way. 

"What does every little boy want to grow up and be? They want to be a policeman, how great is it to grow up and be a Police Chief of your hometown? Well with that said, it's time for me to go."

These were the sentiments uttered by Police Chief George Haralson on his decision to leave Miami at the end of July. At the time he told us he was headed to the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

But on last week's City Council Agenda, his name popped up once again. This time authorizing the City Manager to offer Haralson an employment contract.

"I'm very patient, when it comes to working with very good employees and I regard Chief Haralson as a very good employee," said Miami's City Manager, Jeff Bishop.
 
The city says it never announced that Haralson was leaving, and as of July 29th (the date Haralson left for Oklahoma City), he simply took vacation until September 12th. Now Bishop says he has extend that absence to become on unpaid leave until the middle of October.

"Until such time where I'm firmly convinced that he has departed Miami for good, I'm not going to take any immediate steps in refilling the position," Bishop said.
 
We've contacted Haralson who says he is in fact in Oklahoma City, but that he and the City Manager do have a meeting scheduled later this month to discuss the issue. For now Haralson's name still appears on his officer door, and before leaving, he appointed Thomas Anderson as Acting Chief until a decision was made.

"The uncertainty is kind of unsettling in the department, but everybody is doing a great job keeping going, they look forward to a definitive answer, I guess, one way or another," Anderson said.
 
As for now, neither the City or Department is sure what decision Haralson will make. And an answer will not likely come until Haralson's unpaid leave expires in Mid-October.

Bishop did say that if Haralson decides to stay at his new job in Oklahoma City, instead of returning to Miami, the city will hire an Interim Chief for at least six months, before beginning the process of replacing Haralson for good. 

For a link to Miami's September 3rd meeting, where the City Council gave City Manager Jeff Bishop permission to offer an employment contract to Haralson, click here. 

Posted July 17, 2013: The police chief in Miami, Oklahoma is leaving his position after holding the position for two years.

Miami Police Chief George Haralson says he came to the position in his hometown with an agenda and is proud to have transformed the department from hiring the second woman officer, changing vehicles and uniforms to creating a citizens academy.

Chief Haralson has 40 years of police enforcement under his belt, but will exit the force to serve as Director of the Fraud Investigations Division for the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

He says he is grateful for his time in Miami and honored to be able to serve as chief.

"I'm going to say I'm humbled," says Haralson.  "I've really been taken back in the past couple days, the number of people that have expressed, their sorrow of my leaving."

Haralson says he will remain in the position for the next two weeks and that the city manager should appoint an interim chief in the near future.

 

 

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