Smyrna Town Council named Lt. Norman Wood the interim police chief at Monday's council meeting until a permanent replacement can be chosen for retired Police Chief Wil Bordley.
Monday marked Bordley's last day on the job; he will now be a full-time instructor at the Delaware Technical & Community College campus in Georgetown. Bordley announced his retirement Dec. 18 via an email to council.
Council also voted to use the Delaware Police Chiefs' Council for assistance in hiring a new police chief.
Mayor Joanne Masten expects the process of naming a new chief of police to take about two to three months. The decision to name Lt. Wood the interim chief was dictated by the town charter, which Masten said requires the town to choose an interim chief based on seniority.
Lt. Wood, who was in attendance at the meeting, has been with the Smyrna Police Department for nearly 22 years. He's been a lieutenant for nine years.
"I've worked closely with Bordley and former chief Richard Baldwin. I know what needs to be done. I've sat here at council meetings before representing the chief in the past," Wood said. "We just need to move forward and keep providing police service to the Town of Smyrna's residents and visitors."
While Wood will be police chief on an interim basis, he said the town needs him to step up and fill the post so he's willing to do the job.
"I started here as a dispatcher and worked my way up the ranks and essentially I'm reaching the goal I made on the onset," Wood said.
Wood said during his interview with the department, the police chief asked him what his goal was within the department: "I told him his job. Even in an interim basis, I'm still reaching my goal."
Wood said he's worked with Bordley for 22 years and he'll miss him.
Smyrna Council honored Bordley earlier in the evening with a proclamation.
"For over 23 years he has provided a visionary leadership for our town that has resulted in stable thriving neighborhoods, an expertly trained police force and broadly shared prosperity," Masten said. "Under his leadership, Smyrna has emerged as one of our region's most vibrant and family-friendly communities."
Bordley said he's always cared about Smyrna and he always will.
"I can explain how I feel in one word: melancholy," Bordley said after the meeting. "I'm happy to take the next step in my career but sad to leave Smyrna."