ALBANY, Ga. -- Charlie Poole is retiring from the Albany Police Department after "28 years, 11 months and 15 days," Poole said, and was given a celebration luncheon at the Law Enforcement Center on Friday.
Formal congratulations were given and comments made by speakers Mayor Willie Adams, Jr., City Manager James L. Taylor, APD Chief John A. Proctor and others.
Poole began his rise through the ranks at age 24 and attained the rank of captain about 12 years later. He says that retirement has come at a "proper" time for him.
"I woke up one morning about two weeks ago and knew it was time to go," he said. "Something always told me I'd know, and that actually came true."
Poole credits his lifelong desire to serve in law enforcement to his mentor, Capt. Leroy Davis, who is now retired.
"Leroy used to come to my father's house," said Poole. "He'd be riding his police motorcycle, and I'd say 'that's for me. I'm going to be a policeman.'"
Davis remembers those days, he says.
"Our parents knew one another from the church, and I would drop by once in a while to see them," Davis said. Charlie used to really drool over that motorcycle, and when he was older and still wanted to be a police officer I was not surprised. I'm proud to see this wonderful moment for Charlie -- that he's put in his years."
Former Deputy Chief of Police Wilma Griffin, who is also retired, was Poole's supervisor "on and off for about 15 years," and described him as a "man of few words."
"He says what he means and means what he says," Griffin said. "Over the years I've come to love the man and what he does. He tries to instill in everyone his own high character and his demand for excellence. He will be greatly missed."