Archived News

Franklin Police Chief will retire Dec. 1

Franklin Police Chief Bill Harrell has worked in law enforcement for almost three decades. Franklin Police Chief Bill Harrell has worked in law enforcement for almost three decades. Town of Franklin photo

After decades of service in law enforcement, former Highlands police chief and current Franklin Chief William “Bill” Harrell announced his retirement with a statement issued this morning.

Harrell had served as chief in Franklin since 2020 and is a 1990 graduate of Franklin High School.

The statement concludes by saying that Harrell “will continue to work closely with his command staff to ensure continuity of service and a smooth transition leading up to his retirement date.”

Here’s the full text of the statement:

Dear Citizens of Franklin, Mayor, Council, Madam Manager and Staff,

After much discussion, thought and prayer with my family and friends, I have made the bitter sweet decision to announce my Retirement from the Franklin Police Department effective December 1st, 2022.

Related Items

My career in law enforcement and public service began with the Franklin Police Department almost 3 decades ago, and when I tell you it was my honor and privilege, I mean that whole heartedly. I have worked very hard to earn the opportunities given, some of which I never imagined for myself, but God carved a way for me to experience those possibilities.

I want to THANK all of my family, but most especially my Wife Patti and my young adult children Tyler and Taylor for your support and sacrifices that you have endured during my career. I know there have been times that work interfered with family time, but I hope that you understood why there was a need for sacrifice. I LOVE each of you so very much!

To the former and current Police Officers and staff that I have had the privilege and honor to work with over the years, I want to say THANK YOU to those who gave and continue to give tireless dedication to the Communities we serve. I am so blessed to have worked beside you over those many years. I also hope during times of reflection that you can genuinely say that with the integrity, and courage of a good leader that you would follow anywhere, I left behind a legacy of fighting the good fight to provide you with every wherewithal at my disposal to serve the public to the best of our abilities for their enhanced quality of life, along with the career opportunities for growth and leadership of your own.

I would like to take this time to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to past and present Mayors, Town Councils, Boards, Managers and Staff Members and frontline emergency service colleagues for your dedication and sacrifices to Public Service and for the support that you have shown me. I know I cannot possibly address and thank everyone specifically in this letter that has done so much to influence my career path and successes, but you are NOT forgotten, for your memory in my heart and mind has an eternal place.

Finally, I want to say THANK YOU to all the Citizens that have supported me and my family over the years, especially during the difficult times. It has meant the world to us to be the recipients of so much Love and Encouragement during those times. Although this part of my career may be coming to an end, I can assure you that this will not be the final chapter of my service to the community I love with new envisioned and prayerful leadership opportunities. I am making this decision to retire to pursue future endeavors and improve the quality of life for me and my family and I humbly ask that you keep us in your thoughts, prayers, and it is my hope that I can count on your support in the future.

With the Utmost Respect and Gratitude

Chief William “Bill” Harrell.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.