I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the citizens of Portland for their respect and support over the years.

I was born and raised in Portland, and I’m proud to call it my home. I started working for the Portland Police Department, 31 years ago. I have seen the city go through many changes in my lifetime. I have worked under three Chiefs of Police.

For several years now I have held the role as an administrator within the department. Recently, Chief Richard Smith retired. I felt compelled to reach out and apply to fill that position. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have the highest education around, but I felt like I was very capable and qualified, with my experience, to handle the position. I feel like we have a great department, and it was my goal to make it the best it could be.

I received an abundance of support from this community, family, friends, and fellow employees. It gave me the greatest sense of gratitude. The process was narrowed down to three finalists. I was honored to be one of the three who made it through the vigorous testing and interviews. However, the city officials felt like they wanted to go a different direction and seek out individuals who had some form of college education.

I expressed my sincere feelings to them that, if they found someone who met all of the things they were looking for, that I would respect their decision and give that person 110 percent support. The city officials have decided to hire Anthony Heavner to fill that role.

I met Mr. Heavner the night of the interviews. He went out of his way to come to me, shake my hand and tell me good luck. I admired him for doing so. Even though I have to admit, I was disappointed at not receiving the job, I feel like he is a great choice.

I believe not only will he love this community, I believe the community will love him as well. I have had the opportunity to talk with him, and already, I feel like he belongs here. I am proud to be working with Chief Heavner, as his Assistant Chief of Police.

I want each of you to know that I am forever grateful for the opportunity, and I will always be available for any of you. Please never hesitate to call on me. I ask that each of you give Chief Heavner your utmost respect in this transition. I look forward to many more years of a police department we can all be proud of.

Dewel B. Scruggs

Portland, Tenn.

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