Williams retiring after 41 years as Cassopolis police chief

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cassopolis Police Chief Frank Williams will retire June 30 after 41 years on the force. (Leader photos/SCOTT NOVAK)

Cassopolis Police Chief Frank Williams will retire June 30 after 41 years on the force. (Leader photos/SCOTT NOVAK)

For more than 40 years, Frank Williams has been charged with the safety of the residents of the Village of Cassopolis.

When Williams’ contract expires at the end of June, he will step down as police chief.

“It has been 41 years, going on 42,” Williams said Tuesday in announcing his decision to retire. “I started Sept. 27, 1974.”

Williams has been the police chief in Cassopolis for all 41 years. He also worked at the Cass County Sheriff’s office, as well as First Commercial Bank, which was located downstairs in the building that now houses his police department and the village offices, and served in the United States Air Force.

Williams said that the biggest change in law enforcement over his four decades has been people.

“The attitude and the kind of crimes that are being committed now, I just think it is the people in general,” he said. “I would go back as far as to say it has to do with the family. It is the parents’ responsibility in brining up their kids to teach them right from wrong. A lot of parents today go one way and their kids go the other way and the next thing you know there are problems. I would say in the last five year the vast majority of problems has been from a change in society.”

Williams is proud of his service and how his department has improved over his tenure.

“Having the opportunity to serve this village has been an honor,” he said. “To be able to spend 41 years in the community has been a plus. I could not ask for a better job or a better position. I think God more or less said, ‘this is your home.’

“It has been a very supportive community. I just owe this community so much.”

Being a police chief in a smaller community has its perks according to Williams.

“Knowing people and having their support is important,” he said. “I have been a very active chief. I have been out in the community working as a crossing guard, being out on patrol, which has allowed me to integrate into the community. Touching those people’s lives in the community has really been rewarding.

“I see no fault in working in a larger community, but you do not have that close-knit operation like you do in a small community.”

Williams said that when he took over department changes needed to be made and over the years he has been able get the department heading in the right direction. He said he has worked with many outstanding officers.

“I am leaving with some mixed feelings,” Williams said. “There are some things I would have liked to completed that I probably will not get completed. But I am going to try my best in the short time I have left. Between now and the end of June I have some things I need to treat with tender loving care and hopefully I will leave the department in better shape than when I came in.”

Williams has no plans to just ease into retirement. He plans on remaining in Cassopolis and be a positive force in the community.

“I think I will get a part-time job doing something to keep myself active in the community,” he said. “Just because I am not the chief does not mean I cannot help this community to grow and be prosperous.

“It has been a great ride and I would not have changed it at all,” Williams said. “It has been a beautiful ride.”