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City manager announces interim appointments

City Manager Patrick Roberts announced Thursday a slate of appointments as a result of recent and upcoming retirements of members of the administrative staff.

Effective Monday, Maj. Alfred “Al” Chandler will be the interim chief of police. Maj. Chandler is a 21-year veteran of the Suffolk Police Department. In his time on the force, he has served in many capacities in the department, including Field Training Officer, SWAT Team Operator, Detective, Crisis/Hostage Negotiator, Violent Crimes Unit Supervisor, School Resource Unit Supervisor, and Search and Rescue Team Supervisor. Maj. Chandler was a graduate of the 40th Session of the Chesapeake Police Academy, where he was class president. He holds a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University. He is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Course, as well as a graduate of the 270th Session of the FBI National Academy.

Police Chief Thomas Bennett’s last day in the office was June 10, 2020, with his retirement effective Aug. 1, 2020. He retired after more than 36 years in law enforcement, and served as Suffolk’s police chief for 11 years.

Effective July 1, Albert “Al” Moor will be the interim deputy city manager.

Moor is the current director of Public Utilities and has more than 36 years of progressive municipal government experience and has served as the Director of Public Utilities for Suffolk since 1995.

Moor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology from Old Dominion University. He completed the Senior Executive Institute: UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, the LEAD Program: UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, and AWWA Water Utility Management Institute sponsored by Virginia Tech.

D. Scott Mills, the current deputy city manager, will be retiring on June 30, 2020, after serving the citizens of Suffolk for 33 years.

As a result of Moor’s temporary appointment, Paul Retel will be the interim director of Public Utilities, also effective July 1.

Retel is currently serving as the assistant director of Public Utilities. He has been in that role for the past three years. As the assistant director, he oversees staff in operations, customer service, and engineering. Prior to his present role, he worked for 29 years in the municipal utility consulting sector. There, he worked with numerous municipal utility departments on issues related to the planning, design, operation and maintenance of municipal water and wastewater systems.

“I am confident that the above-noted appointments will provide me with the needed support and the specific departments with the experience and expertise needed as we continue to deliver critical services to the citizens of Suffolk,” Roberts stated in a Thursday press release. “I can’t thank our retirees enough for their public service totaling sixty-nine years, and for the tremendous impact they’ve made to our city.”