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Pembroke chief resigns
Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook swears in Stacy Strickland as interim police chief.

Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins reportedly resigned Monday night, moments before a Pembroke City Council meeting.

Council members voted to accept Collins’ resignation after meeting in executive session.

So far, both Collins and city council members declined to comment on the matter - though the city issued a press release Tuesday morning. Pembroke Officer Stacy Strickland, who had been on the force since July, was appointed interim chief.

"I was surprised by the announcement that (Collins) had resigned. I was there to find out if I would still have a job," Strickland said Tuesday.

Strickland said he has been in law enforcement since 1993, working with the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Effingham Sheriff’s office, Guyton, Springfield and Tybee Police departments as well as the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

"I’ve been a patrol officer, investigator, corrections officer and corrections supervisor," he said.

Strickland said he does not think the Pembroke Police department will be cut.

"The City Council has not spoken to me concerning it, and I’ve not spoken to anyone at the Sheriff’s office, but I feel strongly that the Pembroke Police Department is going to be here. The citizens want the Pembroke Police Department here. We provide a solid service, and I foresee us continuing to give that solid service," he said.

Council also voted to eliminate immediately the position of assistant police chief currently held by Pat Kile who has been out on sick leave due to a back injury. Strickland said he couldn’t comment on the future of Kile, an 18-year veteran, because it’s currently being reviewed.

"There was no disciplinary action against him, it was just an elimination of the titled position," Strickland said.

According to the press release, the elimination of the assistant chief position would help ongoing efforts to cut costs for the upcoming fiscal year.

The city council also scheduled a budget hearing for Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m., and a special meeting of the City Council for Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. to adopt the city budget.

The press release said the council continues to consider additional budget cuts and cost saving measures.

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