Update: New Franklin police chief to step down
NEW FRANKLIN — In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, New Franklin police chief Mike Wise announced plans to step down.
In the post, he mentioned the city's financial state.
"In January 2019 the city had no choice but to stop paying for employees insurance and benefits," the post read. "The city elected to give all employees 300 to apply towards their own personal insurance. This amount was not even a third of what private insurance cost."
Wise has been the police chief for about five years, he said in the post.
"The city decided to cut my staff and only have two full time officers," he said. "April 2019 we lost the full time officer and with the financial crisis the city elected not to fill that position. Thus it left me to patrol 24/7."
Wise told the New Franklin City Council that he had been offered a conditional offer of employment elsewhere, and as soon as his background check is complete, he plans to resign.
Wise refused to go on camera but told KOMU that he worked about 140 hours per week, with a lot of that time going toward helping the school.
Brian Cordel, Superintendent of the New Franklin R-1 School District, said the community and students will miss him.
"Him leaving is going to be a huge loss," Cordel said. "I do hope that they find a replacement for him that is as compatible as he was, as respected as he was, and like I said, he was kind of valuable around here, so we are going to miss him."
Wise said he saw no end in sight to the financial crisis. He said he is concerned for the future and that resigning is one of the hardest things he has had to do as chief.
"The folks are so great here and that’s the hardest thing," Wise said. "The folks here in town, I consider them family. I consider the mayor and the council the same thing."
Wise is hopeful that the city will find a new police chief that is as invested in the community as he is.