Asheville’s new police chief is resigning after less than two months on the job. The city announced this morning in a press release that police chief Chris Bailey is stepping down for ‘personal reasons.’
Bailey's last day will be September 27th. In a statement, Bailey said, "I cannot say enough great things about my experience here. The support I have received from the police department, city management and community has been incredible. It has been heartbreaking for me to come to this decision after being embraced by so many.” Bailey started as chief July 29th after being hired the month before. He replaced Tammy Hooper, who stepped down at the beginning of this year after a tumultuous three and a half year tenure.
Asheville city manager Debra Campbell called the news 'unfortunate', and expects to have a new police chief in place in January of next year. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) will conduct the search for the city. Retired Denver, Louisville, and Greensboro police chief Robert White will serve as Asheville’s interim police chief starting October 1st.
The press release from the city of Asheville announcing Bailey's resignation did mention social media chatter about an incident Bailey was involved in that led to a misdemeanor charge against him 15 years ago. The city in the release said that incident is in no way related to Bailey's decision to resign, and that he voluntarily shared information about that incident during the interview process.