Case closed: Assistant Chief retires after 3 decades with BPD

Published 4:00 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

After more than three decades as a law enforcement officer, Brookhaven Police Department Assistant Chief Chris Case will soon take off his badge and retire.

Wednesday marked Case’s final day in the office. He’ll use his remaining vacation days and officially retire the end of June.

“Chris is like a brother to me,” said Det. Capt. Clint Earls. “We came on to the department about the same time — I believe he has a few months on me — and we have become family. His family has become my family, and my family has become his family. I’m going to miss him.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Case began working for the department in October 1989 as a dispatcher on the midnight shift, hired by Chief Fred McKee. Two years later, he became a patrolman on the same shift, before working his way up to sergeant, lieutenant, captain and then assistant chief in July 2017.

“A lot of officers don’t get a chance to work in dispatch and on the streets, and understand what both are going through,” Case said. “There were times when I was able to help dispatchers understand what officers were doing and what they needed to know, and to help officers understand why dispatchers did what they did. It helped communication.”

Prior to becoming an officer, he had been working as an electrician’s helper and wanted to be an electrician, Case said, but the allure of health insurance and a retirement plan drew him to work for the city.

“The Lord put me here for some reason,” Case said.

Wednesday, Chief Kenneth Collins presented a plaque to Case and thanked him for his dedication to the job. He praised the assistant chief’s commitment to the long hours and tough work required of a leader in law enforcement.

“You go through a lot of good times — joys and some sadness,” Case said. “Losing Zach (Moak) and James (White) was horrible — probably the worst thing I’ve had to deal with. You deal with a lot of death in this job … but then when it’s someone you’ve worked with and helped train …”

Case said he is glad to have learned so much over his years of service. One of the highlights was being on the SWAT team, and learning that aspect of the job.

“It was exciting and I really enjoyed that,” he said.

But working with people was what made the job worthwhile.

“Over the years, I’ve just enjoyed trying to help people,” Case said. “Sometimes you don’t know if you’ve helped people, and sometimes people find you and tell you that you’ve helped them.”

Case is looking forward to enjoying retirement — spending time with family and working on projects — and working a part-time job to stay busy.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Collins said Wednesday. “I appreciate you. We wouldn’t have been able to do all that we’ve done without you.”