MOLINE, Illinois -- The chief of Moline's police department is retiring, just over a month after being charged with operating while under the influence.
Chief John Hitchcock was pulled over on Highway 61 in Scott County Friday, September 7. He was cited for OWI and speeding. He pleaded not guilty to the OWI charge on Wednesday, October 10.
Hitchcock retired Monday, October 15, according to Moline City Administrator Doug Maxeiner.
"We had several discussions over the weekend and he understands the issues and challenges of the public's perception if he came back to the Moline Police Department which led to his decision," said Maxeiner. "He stated to me that he wants to do what is best for the men and women of the Moline Police Department and the citizens of Moline."
Hitchcock was in law enforcement for 27 years. The Moline Police Department has started its search for a new police chief.
In a statement, Maxeiner made the following statement:
"Despite the circumstances of this recent traffic stop, those that were fortunate enough to have served with John will speak of his honor and the high degree of integrity exhibited throughout his nearly 27 year law enforcement career. The improvements exhibited by the Police Department under his command were exemplary. His retirement from the department is a significant loss for the City."