Community celebrates Chappell

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Former police officer retires after 26 years

By Lisa King

Police officers from around the county on Friday joined those of the Simpsonville Police Department in giving one of their own – Scott Chappell – an emotional sendoff.

“We hate to lose Scott, but he made the decision to retire, so we wish him well,” Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden said at Chappell’s retirement luncheon at Simpsonville City Hall.

A longtime Shelby County law enforcement officer and former Simpsonville police chief and officer, Chappell is retiring at the end of September. He looked around the room at his colleagues and friends after a presentation by Eden, who gave him with a plaque in recognition of his service to the community.

“I was born and raised here, and I look around here and think, man, I used to go to [elementary] school right here in this room,” Chappell said, while everyone chuckled.

SPD Chief Chip Minnis had announced Chappell’s retirement at a recent meeting of the city commission. Chappell, currently a sergeant on his force, has served more than 26 years, including 14 with the city, tenures with other agencies in the county and 10 years of service as an EMT under Tommy Sampson, he said.

“He’s a good man, and he’s been a fine officer,” said Minnis, who was hired in 2011 after Chappell requested to step down as chief and return to the field.

Minnis paused when asked if he would miss having Chappell on the force.

“Well, I’ll put it this way,” he said. “I’m sad that he’s leaving, because we’ve been friends for a long time, and I’m going to miss him. He’s the one who brought me here, and we’re just like two peas in a pod, the way we work together and get along together.”

Minnis said the entire community would miss seeing Chappell out and about on the streets, and looking about the crowded room, packed with police personnel and citizens, that was apparent.

“Everybody knows Scott, and everybody likes him, me included,” said Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville), who also turned out to wish Chappell well. “I’ve known him for a long time, and he is well-respected in the community, and certainly well loved. He’ll be sorely missed.”

Chappell entered the law enforcement field joining the Shelbyville Police Department in 1987. He served on Simpsonville’s police force from 1992 to 1996 and became Simpsonville’s acting police chief in June 2005 when Chief Jimmy Puckett took leave.  He took over fulltime later that year.

His last day on the job will be today.