POOLER, GA (WTOC) - Pooler Police Department Chief Mark Revenew has been named the interim chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, which will become the new Savannah Police Department.
Revenew has been an officer with the Pooler Police Department since 1984 and was promoted to chief in 2010. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 166th Session and completed his Masters in Public Administration in 1995 from Georgia Southern University.
Earlier last year, Revenew announced he was planning to retire this April 2018.
"The process was already in place for us to find a replacement for him. It just sort of upped it just a little bit quicker," Mayor Lamb said.
Mayor Lamb found out about Revenew's departure Tuesday morning.
"I don't think the chief is going to just walk away today and that's it," Mayor Lamb said. "I think he'll continue to do a few things here, but he will also start the process of getting up to speed with Savannah also at the same time."
The mayor says whoever takes the chief's place has some big shoes to fill.
"It's going to be very difficult. We've got to look for someone who has the city of Pooler definitely in mind, but also we're going to look for experience and knowledge, so it's just a process we have to go through."
Pooler residents say they moved there because they felt safe, thanks to the police presence.
"We've got a dog and I take him for a walk and one cop will be coming this way and another will be going that way," said Pooler resident, James Dalessandro. "Then there's a guy sitting on the side of the road."
That gives residents comfort both at home and at work.
"Well, I work at the local Parker's and they are patrolling everywhere," said Karen Dalessandro. "I work at night and I work during the day. Sometimes, I have to work the overnight. They're always around."
"I just walk straight to my car. Like, I'm safe. There's an officer in Walmart every day always looking to make sure everything is safe," said Pooler resident, Jaliyah Daniels. "Like I said, there's always an officer right there if you need one."
These people say this is what they want from the new chief.
"Somebody who has the same values as the one that's leaving," Karen Dalessandro said.
In the meantime, the city says even though Chief Revenew is leaving, the patrols and security are there to stay.
"The city of Pooler is as safe today as it was yesterday and it will continue to be that way."
Current SCMPD Chief Jack Lumpkin accepted a new position in DeKalb County, GA in December.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond stated in a release that Lumpkin will be the new deputy chief operating officer of public safety for DeKalb County, effective Jan. 28, 2018. In his resignation letter to Savannah city officials, Lumpkin states his last day at SCMPD will be Jan. 22.
The City of Savannah says the transition will begin immediately.
According to the city, Revenew will not be seeking the police chief position on a permanent basis. Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez says that was important for his selection of an interim chief.
Savannah will be contracting a firm in the future to begin a search for a permanent police chief.