The chief said no one asked him to step down.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. -- Police Chief Raymond C. Greene will retire Jan. 1.
Greene, 50, and Mayor Robert T. Price made the announcement this morning.
Greene said he submitted a retirement letter to the mayor Thursday, the last day to qualify for a special retirement benefit put into place for retiring police officers and firefighters.
It will enable Greene to count his unused sick time as part of his salary for purposes of determining his pension benefit.
Retirement benefits: Police officers retire at 50 percent of their current salary, and Greene is making $54,000 as chief this year. Counting his unused sick time will raise that number, Price said.
There had been rumors that Greene would step down if David O. Ryan, a former Sharon police chief, won the mayoral race this fall.
There were also rumors that Ryan would ask for Greene's resignation if he won, and that became a campaign issue with Ryan's opponents, who said they wanted to save Greene's job.
Ryan won but Greene said this morning that no one asked him to resign.
Ryan, contacted after the announcement, said he never had a conversation with Greene about his retirement.
Price said he won't attempt to name a successor, leaving that task up to Ryan, who takes office Jan. 7.
Ryan said he hasn't given any consideration to picking a new chief yet, but did say he would appoint from within the department.
Greene served the department for 28 years, holding numerous positions including sergeant, detective and captain-operations officer before he was named chief in January 1998, succeeding Ryan, who had retired.
Price praised Greene for his "distinguished service."
"He's done a good job and was very dedicated and hard-working," Price said.
Although he won't be in his office after Jan. 1, Greene will remain on the city payroll until Feb. 20, using up his accrued vacation time.
Commended: Greene has been a member of the Mercer County Drug Task Force since 1997 and has been commended numerous times by the Mercer County district attorney for having one of the finest police departments in the county.
Greene is also credited with making several technological updates within the department and with expanding the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program to include three certified elementary school DARE officers, a junior high DARE officer and a school resource officer.
He is also credited with expanding the department's ability and desire to assist other communities with police services and information.
"I'm very, very happy," Greene said, adding that he has a lot of opportunities but hasn't decided what he will do in retirement.