Fayetteville, N.C. — Chief Tom Bergamine will retire from the Fayetteville Police Department in July, according to a memo he sent to City Manager Dale Iman on Friday.
Bergamine has served as chief since April 2007. He joined the department in 1978 upon leaving the Army.
"If I wait for things to slow down, when you have that low time, that's never going to happen," he said Tuesday. "In my opinion, it's best to pick the date, stick with that date and move on."
Bergamine was a finalist to be police chief in Kansas City, Mo., in October, but he wasn't selected.
Mayor Tony Chavonne said Monday that he was surprised by the move, and he commended Bergamine for "a wonderful job."
“This will leave a big void, but this gives us an opportunity to come together in what I’m sure will be a nationwide search,” Chavonne said.
Bergamine pointed to his community wellness plan as a hallmark achievement. The Fayetteville City Council has hired more officers and raised their pay in recent years to boost community policing.
Violent crime in the city has dropped considerably in the last two years.
Bergamine said he plans to do volunteer work and spend more time with his wife and two grandchildren.