Florence police chief resigns

Florence is looking for a new police chief after Bronson Shipman resigned Aug. 5 to become a corrections officer with the county jail. Shipman had held the position for 10 months.

“It was a shocker,” Florence mayor Mary Shipman said. She is the former chief’s aunt.

As of Friday, plans for filling the position were unclear.

“We don’t know,” Mary Shipman said. “We really haven’t had a chance to discuss it.”

Florence won’t be lawless while the chief’s position is vacant. Marion County sheriff officers will enforce traffic laws, respond to domestic violence situations, and work burglaries and thefts.

“If it’s a state statute, then we will enforce it,” Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft said. “We won’t do city code calls, we can’t enforce those.”

The mayor said the presence of county officers is something Florence is accustomed to.

“Even when we have a police chief, the county is in and out of the town anyway,” Shipman said. “They come down every day for coffee. The county’s made their presence known, so it’s not like it’s anything new or out of the ordinary.”

Shipman said it could take between five and 10 weeks to fill the vacancy, dependent on how the council decides to proceed.

 

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