CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Retired Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen got a salute from employees on his last day on the job.
Uniformed officers and civilian employees lined up outside the police station Monday morning to say goodbye to Mullen. The event was a planned surprise.
Mullen was accompanied by his wife.
Mullen announced his retirement in June.
Mayor John Tecklenburg planned to combine the police and fire departments into one public safety department and have Mullen take the lead.
However city council didn't support the idea.
Mullen led the police department through two of the most tragic events in the city's history, the Sofa Super Store fire and the massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
On Monday when he left the building, Mullen made one stop, to hug his longtime executive assistant Sharon Robinson.
"He never saw himself as being better than anyone else on force," Robinson said. "He always got in and did what they did. If it was going in the trenches, he did that."
"I'm really proud of my department," Mullen said before driving off, escorted by police motorcycles.
Deputy Chief Jerome Taylor will be in charge until a new chief is chosen. The city has hired a national search firm to find the next chief.
Mullen served as chief for almost 11 years.