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By Sam Bari
Jamestown Police Chief Thomas Tighe announced his retirement on Wednesday, June 30, at a special meeting of the Town Council.
The town administrator promptly rehired Chief Tighe with a one-year contract the following day.
"I retired and they hired me back this morning," Chief Tighe told the Press on Thursday.
The chief went on to say that his retirement announcement was not expected. The reason for agreement to continue working for one additional year, he said, was that if he vacated his position immediately, the town would be without a police chief until they could find someone.
Tighe said that he decided to retire for the same reasons as Lieutenant Bill Donovan.
Tighe’s decision to retire now means that his retirement package and benefits will remain intact. If he waited for the upcoming contract negotiations between the town and the police union, there could be changes that would affect officers' retirement packages. Tighe’s employment contract with the town is based one the town contract with the police union.
"After 43 years of service, I didn't want to take a chance on losing what I worked for," Tighe said.
Town Administrator Bruce Keiser said that the town council met in executive session Wednesday to discuss the upcoming contract negotiations with the police union. Afterwards, Chief Tighe made his announcement and the council voted unanimously to accept, he added.
"This morning, we offered the chief a one year contract for $37,000 if he would stay on and still be allowed to retire. He accepted the terms, and will continue fulfilling his duties as before," Keiser said. "The town has the right to renew the contract at the end of the year if it so desires, " he added.
Read the full story in the July 8 issue of the Jamestown Press.