FIRST ON WITN: Greenville Police Chief Leaving

Greenville's police chief is heading west after nearly six years in Eastern Carolina.

William Anderson will become police chief in Asheville, leaving to head up a larger department for a 5% . His last day in Greenville is February 17th.

“Chief Anderson has been an innovative and dedicated leader of the Greenville Police Department,” said City Manager Wayne Bowers. “He has built a strong community-oriented policing foundation for the Department, initiating the Police Athletic League program and implementing the district policing concept. He will be missed in Greenville. I congratulate him on his new position.”

Anderson starts in Asheville March 1st and will be paid $134,446 a year. He currently makes $128,044 in Greenville.

He became chief on June 5, 2006. His tenure in Greenville has been troubled, with public calls for him to resign. A department spokesman said the chief has left the office this afternoon and is unavailable to talk to reporters about his departure.

Greenville is slightly larger than Asheville, with a population of 84,500. But Asheville has a larger police force, with 215 sworn officers, compared to 186 for Greenville.

Deputy Chief Joe Bartlett will serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement is named.

Stay with WITN News and for more on this developing story.

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