02/01/06 — Fremont chief to retire after 41 years on job

View Archive

Fremont chief to retire after 41 years on job

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 1, 2006 1:49 PM

FREMONT -- Ben Reid Jr., a fixture with the Fremont Police Department for more than 41 years, announced Tuesday night that he will retire as chief Feb. 21.

The 64-year-old Reid was appointed as the town's first black chief in August 2003 after he had served as interim chief six times.

"I really appreciate the chief for his job," Alderman Billy Harvey said. "Very rarely has someone spent that many years in the line of duty, especially with the Police Department. I thank you for your service and your willingness to serve. We really appreciate it."

Reid was promoted from sergeant to succeed Terry Grant as chief.

Reid notified Mayor Devone Jones and Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie last week of his intention to retire. He made it official during a special Town Board of Aldermen meeting at Town Hall.

The mayor read a resolution that the board passed in honoring the chief for his years of dedicated service.

The town will hold a reception for Reid from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in Town Hall.

Sgt. Wayne Schwark will take over as acting chief on Feb. 22. McDuffie said he will advertise the vacancy.

Reid said he will continue to work as a part-time officer.

The outgoing chief had worked 30 years during the day at O'Berry Center until he retired in 1994. During that time, he also worked part time at night with the Police Department.

When he rushed home from O'Berry Center, Reid said his wife, Lois, had his police uniform ready, pressed and ironed.

"All I had to do was to come home, change clothes and go to the Police Department," he said. "I'm proud of my wife and my daughters, Angela and Stephanie."

Reid said now he can spend time with his four grandsons.

"We didn't have any boys, but now I have the grandkids," he said.

He also wants to hunt and fish.

"The Lord has been good to me," Reid said. "I've enjoyed my job."