CARTERVILLE — Mayor Brad Robinson confirmed that Carterville Police Chief Heather Reno has resigned.

“She resigned Monday afternoon and made it effective Aug. 16. But, she had some benefit time left, so she is utilizing that time until Aug. 16,” Robinson said.

Wednesday afternoon, Reno turned in her squad car and equipment belonging to the police department. At that point, Robinson appointed Deputy Chief Mike Flaningam to serve as interim chief.

“I wanted to ensure continuity of operations,” Robinson said.

Reno started as police chief in June 2015. Robinson said her initial contract with the city expired in June of this year. The council extended the contract by 30 days. She and the city were negotiating a new contract at the time of her resignation.

Robinson said Reno did not give him a reason for her resignation, but it came at the end of a period of negotiating another contract.

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“She did not quit and leave us high and dry,” Robinson said.

He added that Reno worked hard to professionalize the department. During her tenure, the department added a new electronic records management system, taking it from paper to searchable, electronic records. The department also added equipment that automatically downloads video from squad car cameras to the department server.

Robinson stressed that police services to the city will continue without interruption.

“If you have an emergency or need police services, they will be available. We are going to provide professional police services in the way we always have,” Robinson said. “We have good people at the police department, good staff and interim chief.”

The agenda for the City Council’s meeting on Tuesday will include an item to ratify Flaningam’s employment as interim chief. Robinson said he will work with the public safety committee and council on a long-term plan for police chief.

“Chief Reno did an incredible job in the three years she was here,” Robinson said. ”I certainly wish her the best in the future.”

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Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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