By Dan Moffett

 South Palm Beach Police Chief Carl Webb has decided to retire from his position effective immediately, ending a 30-year career with the town.

 Webb, 64, went on a medical leave of absence in January, and officials said he chose to take the retirement he was planning instead of returning to the job.

 7960791294?profile=original “The town appreciates his service,” said Town Manager Mo Thornton. “We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

 Webb grew up in the Pittsburgh area and earned his police certification at Indiana (Pa.) University. He came to Palm Beach County in 1986 and took a job as a patrol officer with the Greenacres Police Department. Three years later, South Palm Beach hired him and he’s worked for the town ever since.

 Webb first served under Chief Stanley Morse until his retirement in 1993 and then under Chief Roger Crane until 2013 when Webb took over as interim chief. The Town Council promoted him to chief and public safety director in April 2014. He became only the third chief in the town’s history.

 After taking command of the department, Webb made a priority of upgrading technology and also obtaining military grade weapons for his officers. He oversaw a security renovation of the Town Hall front office that included the installation of bullet-resistant glass and electronic locks.

 As safety director, Webb emphasized hurricane preparedness and the need for residents to heed evacuation notices when they are given. He worked to improve communications between the town and residents on crime prevention and emergency medical responses.

 Police Sgt. Mark Garrison, a 17-year veteran of the department, took over Webb’s duties in February, and Thornton said he will continue to fill in until the town finds a permanent replacement.  She said the council will begin advertising for applicants and screening candidates soon, with the hope of naming Webb’s successor by summer.

 Webb’s annual salary was $98,515.

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