Longtime Priceville police chief to retire
From The Decatur Daily
by Evan Belanger
PRICEVILLE — Longtime Priceville Police Chief Billy Peebles will retire next week after more than 31 years on the force and more than 41 years in law enforcement.
Peebles, 63, will step down from the town’s top law enforcement job effective Wednesday.
“There comes a time in a person’s life when it’s time to move on,” he said, adding he will most miss the opportunity to serve the public as well as the camaraderie of the force.
Mayor Melvin Duran said no decisions have been made about who will replace Peebles either on an interim or permanent basis.
“All options are on the table,” he said, adding, “I’ve enjoyed working with Billy these last 31 years.”
Including Peebles, Priceville has five police officers and six reserve officers.
Peebles’ retirement comes during a period of rapid growth for the small town east of Decatur. From 2000 to 2016, its population grew by 97 percent — from 1,674 to 3,297.
Peebles, a Priceville native, started his law enforcement career as a reserve deputy for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. He served as a patrol officer in Trinity before joining the Priceville Police Department, where he was promoted to chief in 2001.
In an interview Friday, he said he always will carry with him memories of some of the more grisly experiences of law enforcement, but he hoped his years of work positively impacted the close-knit community.
“Maybe something you said during the day affected someone’s life for the good,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s what matters to you.”
Peebles said he has no plans to leave his home in Priceville and that he will be available to assist the police force if called upon. He said his immediate plans are to spend time catching up on chores around the house and visiting family.
A small retirement party for Peebles is planned early next month. He said he prefers a small, private sendoff with friends and family as opposed to a large public event.
“My job was a gift that God gave me. It’s something I wanted to do since I was a young man, and God opened that door for me,” he said. “It’s certainly not something to flaunt, because all good things come from Him.”