- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

MANDEVILLE, La. (AP) - Mandeville Police Chief Rick Richard is planning to step down from his position after heading the department for six and a half years.

Richard announced his retirement Monday. It will be effective July 1, local news outlets reported.

Richard said in a statement that his immediate plans are to spend more time with his children and grandchildren.

“I am convinced that being the chief of police in Mandeville is the absolute best chief’s position in the state,” he said.

Richard, a former FBI agent, received SWAT and sniper certifications from the Defense Language Institute. He became police chief in January 2010 and is credited with updating department policies, standardizing equipment and modernizing the agency’s report-writing and record-keeping systems.

Mayor Donald Villere said Monday that he accepted Richard’s resignation.

“Rick’s experience and contacts gave Mandeville police greater access to all law enforcement agencies and sustained our positive image statewide,” Villere said.

City officials have not announced who will be his replacement, but Villere said he will likely appoint an interim police chief to allow the city time to conduct a search for a permanent replacement.

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