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Mayor-elect Justin Bibb releases statement on resignation of Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams

Chief Williams announced his resignation publicly on Thursday afternoon.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, related story.

Just hours after Cleveland Division of Police Chief Calvin Williams announced his resignation from his position, Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb has issued a statement thanking Williams for his work. 

"I want to thank Chief Calvin Williams for his years of service and wish him a happy retirement. I look forward to selecting a new chief," Mayor-elect Bibb said in a statement to 3News' Lydia Esparra.  

Williams announced his resignation abruptly Thursday afternoon during a police awards ceremony at Public Hall in downtown Cleveland, telling audience members "This is my last official act. I'm going to miss you guys."

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3News' Sara Shookman sat down with Williams following the announcement and confirmed to the Front Row anchor that his last day will be Jan. 3, 2022. 

At an Oct. 14 Cleveland mayoral town hall, Bibb was asked by 3News' Russ Mitchell whether or not he would keep Williams on if he were to win the Nov. 2 election, replying "No. I’m getting a new chief."

Additionally, Bibb told 3News' Mark Naymik Wednesday morning after his mayoral win that he would be looking both within the Cleveland Division of Police and outside of the law enforcement agency to find his next chief. 

"I think there's a lot of great talent inside our department right now. I'm going to look far and wide inside our department and nationally for the right chief. Not to create a department that's mired in the status quo, but what does our department need to look like for the next 10, 15, 20 years? I want a chief that's going to work with me as the next mayor to chart that vision," Bibb told Naymik.

It will be a new era when it comes to policing in Cleveland, as voters on Tuesday also decisively passed Issue 24, a controversial ballot initiative that will establish a civilian review board to oversee misconduct allegations within the Cleveland Division of Police. This is a change from the current system in which allegations are dealt with internally.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THIS STORY: 

RELATED: Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announces resignation effective January 3, 2022

RELATED: Issue 24: A new era in police reform in Cleveland

RELATED: Mayor-elect Justin Bibb considering hiring police chief from outside Cleveland department

Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, related story.