Former Richlands Police Chief speaks out after resignation

Former Police Chief Jerry Gilbert said he was less than two months away from seeing his full...
Former Police Chief Jerry Gilbert said he was less than two months away from seeing his full retirement pension.(WVVA)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 7:43 PM EDT
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RICHLANDS, Va. (WVVA) - Former Richlands Police Chief Jerry Gilbert said on Tuesday that he was forced to leave his position. Gilbert tendered his resignation as Chief of Police Monday evening.

Gilbert first took office as Richlands Police Chief in 2018, after decades of law enforcement work in and around the town.

On Tuesday, Gilbert spoke with WVVA on his thoughts following his departure -- including an ongoing rift between him and members of the town’s council regarding changes to its emergency dispatch center.

That issue, among other complaints which Gilbert said were unfounded and undocumented, seem to have led to him being forced out of office. Gilbert said he was told by Richlands’ Town Manager John O’Daniel to tender his resignation or he would be fired. Gilbert also said he was one and a half months away from receiving his full retirement pension from the Virginia system.

“I had until yesterday afternoon, August the 15th, to give them my decision,” said Gilbert. “Or at that time I’d be terminated.”

The resignation came amidst months of turmoil in the town’s leadership. Numerous councilmembers had resigned previously, leaving only one left who had initially been elected to serve a full term.

“They was appointed in July. This was their first meeting, their first opportunity they had to get rid of me, and that’s what they’ve done,” said Gilbert regarding a recent appointment to council.

This is an ongoing story, WVVA will provide updates as more information becomes available.

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