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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo City Police Chief
Derrick Diggs will retire March 21, but he won't be gone for long.
In order to protect his
pension as part of the Deferred Retirement Option Program's (DROP) stipulations,
Diggs has to retire now. But after 35 years of service, he isn't done.
"I'm not ready to retire,"
Diggs said. "There's still a lot of work to be done protecting and serving the
City of Toledo."
So Mayor Mike Bell will
re-hire Diggs as soon as they are legally able to.
The DROP program is
designed to keep Police and Fire from having large numbers of their staff
retiring at once. Participants are required to retire after eight years in the
program to get their pension.
"What people need to
realize is that this money the chief put into the pension system, it's not a
free giveaway," Mayor Bell said.
The state allows
participants to be re-hired, so Bell plans to bring Diggs back, rather than
search for someone new.
"That's the bottom line,"
Bell said. "This individual is trained very well – he could probably go
anywhere in the United States and be a police chief – so we're not going to
stop him from working. Why not keep the talent here, locally?"
Chief Diggs has spear-headed
several initiatives to rid the streets of Toledo of drugs, guns and gangs.
"I spent my entire adult
life doing one thing, and one thing only, and that's protecting and serving the
citizens of this community," Diggs said. "My vision for public safety has not
been complete yet."
The chief could put his
badge back on as soon as March 23, but if he returns sooner than 60 days after
retiring, he would forfeit two months of his pension.