Boston’s police chief retired, effective Thursday.
Ferrell Howell, who became Boston’s chief law enforcement officer on Sept. 1, 2011, had not planned to retire, but an old spinal injury intervened.
“I have been advised by three different doctors that I should retire immediately due to an old spinal injury that's causing me problems with my balance,” Howell said.
Howell said it has been “a privilege and honor” to serve Boston as police chief.
“I love Boston. It will always hold a special place in my heart,” Howell explained.
Although Howell left the post Thursday, his official retirement is in April when his sick leave expires.
Boston Mayor Danny Groover said the chief position is being advertised. Qualifications and applications are available on the Georgia Department of Labor website.
Groover hopes a new chief will be onboard within 30 days.
The position pays $35,000 annually.
Police Sgt. Andre Williams is acting chief. Boston Police Department has three officers in addition to a chief.
Howell expressed appreciation to Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell and Thomasville police Chief Ellis Jackson, their respective agencies and law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties.
“We worked well together,” Howell said.
He also expressed thanks to his wife for her support of his career.
Although Howell is sad to hang up his badge, he anticipates new adventures.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.