BY MICHAEL WALTON
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The city of Frankfort is without a police chief following the resignation of longtime Chief Keith Redder.
Redder delivered a letter of resignation to the Frankfort City Council Monday morning. City Manager Joshua Mills said the resignation was essentially a retirement.
“He was eligible for retirement, so he retired today,” Mills said Monday.
Frankfort Mayor Robert Johnson said the city council waived a 30-day retirement notice requirement in Redder’s contract and awarded him four months of pay and benefits.
Johnson said there were no problems between Redder and the council that led to the resignation.
“The council thanked him for his years of service to the community and we hope he has a nice retirement,” Johnson said.
Redder declined to discuss specifics of his departure.
”I retired and we will leave it at that,” he said. “I think (council members) have some plans for the department that I just didn’t fit in to.”
City officials hired Redder as a police officer in 1986. He took over as chief of police in the late 1990s.
Redder earned an annual salary of about $59,000. He made just shy of $11,000 in benefit and retirement payments in the four month-stretch between April and the end of July, said Kimberly Kidder, Frankfort’s clerk and treasurer.
Redder said he is eligible to receive pension payments based on his 27 years of employment with the Frankfort Police Department.
Officials said the city is starting a search for a new police chief. Officer Robert Lozowski will oversee Frankfort’s two-man police department in the meantime.
The other officer currently on Frankfort’s police force is Tim Cavric. Frankfort officials laid off Cavric in 2003, but he was rehired in 2012 following a lengthy employment battle that ended after the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered his reinstatement and the state Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said his deputies will assist Frankfort police if needed.
“We’ll help out any way we can,” Schendel said.