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Milton police chief steps back from offer in North Carolina

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MILTON, Ga. — Police Chief Rich Austin is here to stay.

The City of Milton announced Aug. 10 Austin had accepted a police chief’s position in Burlington, North Carolina, but since then, Austin said family circumstances arose that needed his “immediate and sustained attention,” prompting him to reconsider the move.

Milton Police chief announces he will step down

Austin joined the Milton Police Department in January 2017 after spending 24 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He said he is very much looking forward to continuing in his role as the police chief of Milton.

“As I have stated many times in various forums over the years, it is a true honor and privilege to lead the exceptional women and men of the Milton Police Department and to serve the citizens of Milton,” Austin said Aug. 30.

Initially, Austin planned to move back to his home state of North Carolina to be closer to his family. He was to remain on the job through Sept. 26 while the City of Milton launched a search for his replacement.

Chief Austin: A look back and a look forward

According to local news station WXII 12, Austin informed the Burlington Police Department of his decision around the week of Aug. 23. Burlington’s city administration, human resources department and consultant, the Mercer Group, have already begun the search for their next police chief.

Austin said he is grateful to Burlington’s city leaders for their “professionalism and graciousness” throughout the process.

“The City of Burlington and the Burlington Police Department – much like Milton – are outstanding,” Austin said. “I wish Burlington well as they search for their community’s next police chief.”

Reach Chamian Cruz at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @xchamian.

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