MOULTRIE, Ga. — For 15 years, Frank Lang was the Moultrie Police Department’s chief, but now he’s saying goodbye as he relinquishes his “Chief Emeritus” title and settles into retirement.
Lang officially retired on July 31, but not before letting his memories send him on a nostalgia trip. After all, if you do something for so long you can’t help but miss it, he said.
“Being with the City of Moultrie as the chief was a dream come true,” he said. “A lot of us who get in law enforcement, even those who stay a lot of years, we never get to where we’re making decisions and people are trusting us to ensure their protection.”
He’s not wrong. According to The Balance Career’s “Police Officer Career Advancement Timeline,” making chief requires an “extensive resume and education,” and 20-plus years of experience.
Lang had 28 years of experience before becoming MPD chief in 2004. From then to 2017, the MPD maintained its national accreditation, gave the community a “feeling of safety,” and brought crime rates down.
City-Data.com records Moultrie in 2004 with a violent crime and property crime rate of 596.9 and 891.0 respectively. It records the 2017 rates as 285.4 and 447.3 respectively. The violent crime and property crime rates have decreased by 52.2 percent and 49.8 percent respectively.
Lang said placing the department in a “better spot” was simply due to listening.
“If I had to point to anything that contributed to the success of the department, it was being a good listener,” he said. “I did a lot of [it] and [doing so] made me a better chief.”
Though hindsight is 20/20 for Lang, he said he has no regrets in his tenure as chief and chief emeritus. Mayor Bill McIntosh said Lang was a “good asset” to the city during his period as chief.
“He came in [and] organized his department well,” McIntosh said. “I wish him well and appreciate the job he did for the City of Moultrie.”
But Lang wasn’t only esteemed within the police department. He was cherished throughout the city as a leader, role model and friend. City Manager Peter Dillard said his bond with Lang runs closer than that work colleagues, but of friends.
Dillard became Lang’s work colleague three years ago but knew Lang before then as friends through Moultrie’s Rotary Club. If there was one word Dillard characterized Lang under, it’d be gentleman.
“[He was] always accommodating, friendly [and] open,” Dillard said. “I don’t think you could know Frank Lang and not like him. He always exuded charm, courtesy and consideration.”
Dillard is sad to see his friend go but knows new adventures lie ahead of him.
“You hate to see somebody go, but I’m excited for him,” he said.
Lang knows retirement will take some adjustment but is sure this is the next step in his life.
“I’ve been working since my early teenage years and to be able to retire now is a blessing,” Lang said. “Yeah, I think I’ll miss [policing], but it’s just the time now to create more chapters — things that I’ll miss 10 years from now.”
Lang plans to spend time with his grandchildren, travel around and enjoy his retirement to the fullest.
“It was an amazing ride,” Lang said.