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Police Chief Mike Markle honored for 31 years of service, set to retire at end of week

Markle entered the 44th police academy in 1989.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city's police chief was honored Tuesday by city leaders as he prepares for the next chapter in his life.

Chief Mike Markle is set to retire after 31 years of service to the department.

There were plenty of well wishes and a moment of appreciation as Chief Markle received a certificate of commendation during the city council meeting.

While the chief has his eyes on retirement, he said he will still be there to serve those who need a helping hand.

"I will continue on in this community and to be part of this community to do what I think is best and roll my sleeves up.  I won't be the chief, but I will certainly be here for anybody, and yes you can call me chief," said Markle.

Markle entered the 44th police academy in 1989.

Chief Markle would serve as a patrol officer during his first 16 years of service with the department.

Other roles included the honor guard and being a member of the SWAT team before he was promoted though the ranks.

In 2016 he would be sworn in as chief of police, continuing a legacy set by those in the position before him including the late Police Chief Floyd Simpson.

"Right off the bat I wanted to surround myself with the most talent that I could within the police department, make sure we are working together, I think that is a continuation from Floyd Simpson and Troy Riggs and I think we've done a great job with that," said Markle.

The last six years would not go without challenges, tough decisions, and important issues the department would have to face.

"We've had a couple of hurricanes and water boils, a pandemic, civil unrest, and things that needed to progress in policing.  I think we've worked hard to accomplish a lot," said Markle.

He said the department was able to get through each obstacle thanks to what Markle credited as a strong relationship between his department and the community.

"And I'd say under our watch, under our watch, because we've always been communicating with each other, no walls, people want to talk about issues we are happy to talk and work things out," said Markle.

He's hoping that is something that will continue with the next police chief as the city now beings its nationwide search to fill the position.

As we've reported Assistant Police Chief David Blackmon will be stepping into the role to serve in an interim basis.

"Dave and I have been joined at the hip for over 30 years on the police department.  He's a confident humble man and I'm sure the community will welcome him. Dave has been working hard for the community for a long time," said Markle.

Humbled by every moment as the city's top cop, Markle told 3 News this is not a goodbye, but simply a turning of the page as he moves on to a job in the private sector.

"You know I haven't had to wear anything but a uniform since I joined the military at 18 years old, so that is going to be a change for me," Markle said.

The chief's last day with the city will be May 2.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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