Dudley announces retirement as Frankford police chief

The Town of Frankford’s Police Chief William Dudley, Jr. will be retiring

Earlier this week, Dudley said he officially announced to council that he would be retiring from his position as chief at the end of the year.

“I started back when I was 21 and I’m over 62 now. That’s close to 42 years of experience,” he said of his time in law enforcement, joking that he could write a book. “I’ve enjoyed all the years of service with the various police agencies I’ve been involved with and I’ve absolutely enjoyed all the opportunities I’ve had, but it’s time now that I have to look at what’s best for me at this point.”

Dudley said, along with announcing his retirement plans to the Town, he also informed his coworkers, and his colleagues at the Delaware Police Chief’s Council. He said that although he told council his final date of employment would be Dec. 31, 2014, he would stay a little longer, if the council requested his help in training or finding his replacement.

“I have no problem doing that if that’s what they need,” he said. “I don’t know how they’re going to proceed at this point. I don’t know what their plans are. It’s their town. It’s their decision. I’m not going to get involved in it.”

With pension talks monopolizing many of Frankford’s town council meetings, Dudley stressed that his retirement is not related to those discussions.

“It’s a decision that at this time is right for me. This decision has to be made for me and not for any other reasons. My decision was already made long before this,” he said. “I first started here, I made up my mind and told everyone on the council at that time this would be a three- to five-year plan, getting the police department started, up and running, and making sure it was successful. Fortunately I was able to extend it to seven years.”

Dudley said his additional two years working for the town was “a good thing.”

“This is my town, I look at this as my town because when I got there, there was nothing and we had a lot of issues going on. There was a lot of open-air drug dealing, people out in the street —there were real problems. It took us quite a while to get those problems solved…

“One of the things I’m proud of is making this town safe again. People can walk up and down the sidewalks, people aren’t afraid to go out at night.”

Dudley said he could not speak to citizens’ speculations of the disbandment of the Town’s police department following his retirement.

“This department is set up if they want to continue it to be successful,” he said. “Without a police department, I think it’ll be a situation where things will run rampant. I think they will go right back to their old ways and I don’t think that’s what the people of this town really want.”

Once retired, Dudley said he plans to move south and enjoy his time out of uniform.

“I’ve enjoyed my time and I’ve had a great career. It’s been a blessed one; it’s been a pleasurable one. I will miss the people,” he said. “Sussex County is a great place to live. It’s a wonderful place, it’s a wonderful area and I think this town has a lot to offer.”