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Charlie Haney retires as police chief

KINGWOOD — Kingwood Mayor Jean Guillot said Police Chief Charlie Haney deserves a lot of credit for his accomplishments. Haney retired as chief Friday. Doug Montague will take over as interim chief May 1 for 30 days.

“Charlie has done a lot,” Guillot said. “There was no police force when he took over. He modernized the book-keeping,  record-keeping, the evidence-keeping, and brought our police fleet up to date.  We were lucky to have him.”

Councilman Josh Fields agreed.  At the Tuesday evening council meeting he said: ”Thank you, Charlie, for your service. He (Haney) coached me in Little League. He didn’t have a child on the team — he just did it. Just like he took over this mess (police department), he didn’t have to do it. We were lucky to have him. I just wanted to say thanks.”

Haney was with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department for 32 years, starting as a jailer/dispatcher, and retiring after serving as chief deputy. After retiring, he worked for about two years with the WVU Police.                                                

He said he believes he will miss the job, and questioned if he was doing the right thing by quitting.

“I thought about it,” Haney said. “But I’ve covered a lot of territory. It’s time for me to step down. They (council) knew I wasn’t looking at long-term employment. I just came in to get the department in line.  I’ve went as far as I can go.  They applied for a COPS grant; if they get it them, they will have five officers and can go to two shifts.”

He said working with the city was different than working with the sheriff’s department.

“There is a smaller area to cover, and you get to know the people better,” Haney said. “The main difference is that travel time between calls is less. With the sheriff’s office, it could take 35 minutes to get to a call and here in the city, just a matter of a few minutes.”

He said he hasn’t made a lot of travel plans, but does have a few home projects he wants to work on.

“I think my wife is going to keep working for a little while,” he said. “She has a list lined up for me of things I haven’t had time to do.”

He said he appreciates the opportunity the city gave him.

“A lot of people have helped out. The sheriff’s office, the State Police and the 911 center. For the most part, the public has been good to work with,” Haney said. “It takes everyone working together. They (city council) have a good foundation to work with.  Hopefully they will be able to get more officers.”

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