TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WVNS) — The former Richlands Police Department Chief resigned on Monday, August 17, 2022.

The town of Richlands is seeing a change in law enforcement personnel. Jerry Gilbert served as the Richlands Police Chief since 2018, but that no longer stands. He claims officials with the town gave him two options, to resign or be fired. Gilbert said he is devastated he cannot serve the community and people he loves.

“I’m lost. I’ve served as a police officer in this community, Cedar Bluff and Richlands for 35 and a half years. I was one and a half months away from locking in a 25 years retirement,” Jerry Gilbert said.

Gilbert claims the reason stems from political gain.

“I asked what I done wrong, they said poor job performance but then when you’ve need been written up, you’ve never been talked to, never been counseled, nothing. And all of a sudden, they come and tell you that and you ask what did you did wrong and nobody can really tell you… then you know, it’s all political,” Gilbert said.

Richlands Town Councilman Doug Ratliff said in a statement, “the statements Jerry Gilbert made were not factual and he was offered his retirement.”