Smithsburg Town Council votes against renewal of police chief’s contract, effective immediately


At the Smithsburg Town Council meeting on Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to not renew Police Chief George Knight’s contract.

Knight has served the police department for 11 years.

“I just want to thank the citizens of the town of Smithsburg for letting me serve them for the last 11 years. I tried to do the best I can with what I had,” said Knight. 

The motion was made by Donald Souders, who is the council’s vice president and said their decision had to be announced at the town council meeting. 

“Unfortunately the process is what it is, because the chief is a contractual employee with the town. Any contract decision whether it is pro or against, has to be done in a public venue,” he said. 

This vote was last on the agenda for the meeting.

“The contract was dated June 3, 2009 with an automatic renewal every year. The unanimous decision was not to renew it for the fiscal year 2020, however that would take effect immediately,” said Souders. 

Souders also added that there was a long period of silence after the vote was made. 

Town Council said they reached this decision “due to personnel matters that they are unable to discuss.”

George Knight’s last day as chief of police was May 8, the day following the meeting.

Knight added that the officers with Smithsburg Police Department do a great job and will continue to do a great job and extended a thank you to those he has gotten to work with during his duty as police chief. 

Moving forward, the town is actively looking for a police chief and is working on updating the job description of what they would like to see in the next chief of police. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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