Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw has encouraged politicians to put their differences aside to better protect the public from mass shootings. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Middletown police chief: ‘Issues going on in the city’ led to earlier departure

Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s police chief for five years, said Friday will be his last day in the office, meaning he’s leaving a month earlier than previously announced.

On Thursday, Muterspaw said he decided to leave because of “issues going on in the city,” and he wanted to start the “new chapter” in his life by taking real estate classes the first week in November.

Muterspaw said he will use accrued vacation days over his 30-year career until his retirement. He called his career “an awesome run.”

 

Muterspaw said there’s “stress with the city right now” and on Thursday he felt like “a weight had been lifted” off his shoulders.

City Manager Doug Adkins said Muterspaw is “entitled to and has several options” on how to take his accrued vacation time earned during his time with the city. His decision to use it prior to his “official retirement date” is one of those options.

Earlier, Muterspaw said he wanted to stay until a new police chief was named. But he said the chief’s examination test will be taken in early November and one of the four majors — David Birk, Leann Hood, Scott Reeve and Andy Warrick — will be named his successor.

Muterspaw expects the four to rotate serving as acting police chief until a chief is named.

Besides earning his real estate license, Muterspaw didn’t rule out running next year for Middletown City Council.

Muterspaw said he couldn’t count the number of phone calls, text messages and emails from Middletown residents he received in the past few days. He called the community support “unreal and very humbling.”

He said after 30 years on the job and five as police chief he was “exhausted” and “mentally beat down.”

When asked how he wants to be remembered, Muterspaw said for “changing the culture in the department and making a difference in the city.”

He’s confident that any of the four majors will make a strong police chief.

“I never wanted to stand in the way,” he said. “It’s time to leave the police department.”

INITIAL REPORT

Middletown’s police chief is leaving his position this week, nearly three months earlier then previously announced.

Chief Rodney Muterspaw, 50, announced on the police department’s Facebook page this morning that his last day after five years as police chief will be Friday.

MORE: McCrabb: Middletown chief reflects on 30-year career as retirement approaches

“You are the best community I could ever have worked with,” Muterspaw wrote. “I see your strength and resilience every day. You have more passion and soul for Middletown than one could hope for. Keep fighting for your city. Keep being you. I’ll be fighting with you from the outside now. We still have lots of work to do.

“The future is very bright here. I absolutely love the people moving up to be your next leaders. They are going to be great. Give them the love that you gave me. I’m excited for them. Remember a department is only as good as its community, they need you just like you need them. We are one, don’t ever forget.”

His called his career in his hometown “what a ride.”

He gave no reasons why he moved up his retirement date.

It’s unclear who will serve as the city’s interim police chief in Muterspaw’s absence.

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