Oklahoma City's longest-standing chief of police is stepping down. Chief Bill Citty made his retirement announcement on Thursday and said his last day will be May 2.
He planned to retire in January 2020. Citty stated in a press conference that one of the reasons for moving the date up is the toll the job has taken on him.
“I am leaving very content,” said Chief Bill City, Oklahoma City Police Department. “Very satisfied with the decision at this point in time.”
Citty said it is not very often a police chief maintains the same position for 15 years and with a department for more than 40. Citty is the first to admit it has not always been easy.
“There’s a lot of issues that are occurring and have occurred that you know it’s time,” said Citty. “It’s not a time to keep making things messy and have them messy for the city.”
One being an ethics violation the department's four deputy chiefs filed against their leader last year. The group accused Citty of threatening retaliation for them requesting overtime pay. The city auditor cleared Citty of the allegations last month.
“In 15 years as chief I’m not always right and the chief has to be subject to criticism,” said Citty. “If you’re not willing to be the subject of criticism then you’re not going to get better.”
The local Fraternal Order of Police and Citty have not always seen eye-to-eye, but the FOP leadership released a statement in support of his work.
“As the longest-serving police chief for Oklahoma City, we appreciate Chief Citty’s commitment to our community and department. Chief Citty built bridges throughout the city, promoted diversity and inclusion within the ranks and maintained the public’s trust during challenging times for police. We wish him the best in his upcoming retirement and look forward to the next chapter for the Oklahoma City Police Department," said John George, OKC FOP President.
Citty said he is proud of the department's 1,100 officers and wants to leave on a positive note.
“I’m not leaving here bitter,” said Citty. “I’m not that kind of person.”
Citty said one of his goals as chief was to build a new headquarters building. He accomplished that three years ago.