After just a year on the job, Lithonia’s police chief Kennis Harrell has resigned.
“It’s just another resignation,” Harrell said on Dec. 30 as he was leaving his office.
Harrell, a former deputy chief of the DeKalb County Police Department, said there was “no controversy” that led to his resignation.
The 25-year law enforcement veteran said he plans to do “nothing,” which later he described as hunting, fishing and hanging out with his grandchildren.
With the DeKalb police department, Harrell worked as a lieutenant, captain, sergeant, homicide detective and academy instructor before becoming a deputy chief overseeing operations of the department’s south and east precincts.
In November 2010, Harrell took over the chief’s position in Lithonia, which had been vacant for nine months after the then-chief Willie Rosser resigned.
Mayor elect Deborah Jackson, who learned of the chief’s resignation on Dec. 29, said she hopes the chief would reconsider and stay on as the chief.
“It’s been a tumultuous year” for Lithonia, Jackson said.
Last March, the Lithonia City Council fired its city clerk over the objections of then-mayor Tonya Peterson Anderson. The clerk, Missye Varner, was terminated after she allegedly violated city policy by accepting service of a lawsuit delivered by a DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy.
Lithonia begins the year with a recently hired city administrator and clerk, and, after having problems getting a recent special election cleared by the U.S. Justice Department, the city has a new council and mayor.