( Florence ) Police Chief Tom Szurlinski is retiring from the department after 27 years of service. Szurlinski climbed the ranks from a patrol officer to become chief seven years ago. His retirement will become effective on April 1.
Szurlinski has released the following statement:
“Having had the privilege of serving as a Florence police officer for the past 27½ years, I will be retiring from the department on April 1, 2013. It has been my honor to serve with some of the best and most professional officers and staff that anyone could ask. I am extremely proud of all they have accomplished. The police department and the City of Florence have become a second family for me. Nevertheless, the department is well positioned at all levels to continue its service to our community and to improve its ability to provide state of the art law enforcement services in an ever changing environment.
I will be forever grateful to Mayor Diane Whalen and the Florence City Council for the trust they placed in me to lead the police department. That trust, combined with overwhelming support of the department and the officers, has helped the police department ensure Florence is a safe place to live and work. I fully expect that support will continue as the department moves forward.
During my career, I have had the fortune of meeting many wonderful people in the community. It is the support of the community that law enforcement needs to accomplish its mission. I appreciate the Florence community in all it has done to assist the police department during my career.
My immediate plans include a brief time off and then exploring new opportunities. I plan to remain in Florence and take advantage of the myriad of opportunities available. My career with the City of Florence has been a blessing to me and my family. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a small part of such a professional police department and a wonderful city.”