The Martinsville Police Chief, Martinsville Fire Chief and Martinsville Circuit Court Clerk announced their respective retirements and/or addressed members of the Martinsville City Council on Tuesday.
Assistant City Manager and City Attorney Eric Monday also will retire effective Jan. 2. (See related story)
Eddie Cassady will retire as chief of police, Ted Anderson will retire from his post as fire chief, and Ashby Pritchett will retire as clerk.
Throughout his 37-year career, Pritchett said “I always thought we could work together” with the various members of council and other city officials, “and we did. My office was always successful because we believed in the city.
“God bless the City of Martinsville. I hope that it prospers,” he said.
“I’ve been blessed throughout my career,” Cassady, 58, said Tuesday when addressing members of city council.
Echoing a remark previously made by Ashby Prichett, who also retired as Martinsville Circuit Court Clerk, Cassady said “Ashby said it the best. It’s about the employees and everybody here working together.
“We couldn’t do it alone. And our citizens. It’s all about our citizens and all our departments working together,” Cassady said.
Anderson said, “it’s truly been an honor and a blessing to be a servant of the citizens of Martinsville.”
Given his “humble beginnings from a country boy from Halifax County, I still can’t believe this has happened. I’ve had some great guidance from current council members, former council members, and I know that oncoming council members will do the same.”
Anderson also noted that “the friends I’ve made, the influences that have guided me to be where I am today, my family, my friends, I just can’t say enough about it. All of the influences and lessons I’ve learned, I’ve been kept around for a reason.
“It will be interesting to see what God has in store for me,” he said. “I don’t deserve anything that I’ve been given. I truly feel blessed to be the servant that I am, so thank you to the community and to the citizens that have allowed me this opportunity.”
“I feel very grateful—feel the citizens are going to be in even better hands than they were with myself,” he said, and announced the “January 1 Fire Chief,” as R.D. “Dan” Howell.
“I turn the reins over to” Howell, Anderson said, and added “we are very fortunate to have had several great candidates to choose from. It was a tough decision, but it’s in this gentleman’s bloodline. He’s an extremely smart person, and I feel great about” selecting Howell as the new chief.
Howell briefly addressed the council.
“Thank you to Martinsville for giving me an opportunity in 1996 to serve at the fire department,” Howell said. “It’s going to be my continued commitment to the city to continue to serve the citizens and do the best I can” going forward.
Cassady, who has served as the Martinsville Chief of Police since 2017, announced that he will retire from the post effective January 1.
After beginning his career with the department in 1985, Cassady said he has worked in “pretty much every division of the department,” during his 37-year tenure. That includes working as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, narcotics investigator, SWAT Team Commander, supervisor of the narcotics unit, captain, and deputy chief before being named to his current post.
The reason for his retirement after 37 years in the department, “was nothing pressing, I just feel it’s time for me to enter into another stage of my life,” he said.
Cassady considers his biggest accomplishment is the relationship he and the department have built with the community, and in part attributes that relationship as a factor in the success of keeping the crime rate down.
“I think that our continued (efforts) building a relationship with our community has been one of our biggest accomplishments,” Cassady said. “Just continue to do that and that’s really it in a nutshell, because that’s really important to keeping our crime rates down. And we’ve been successful doing that over the last few years.”
Throughout his career, Cassady also encouraged police professionalism. During his time as chief, the department earned reaccreditation for a sixth four-year term.
However, Cassady said his successful career would not have been possible without the people who have given him advice along the way, and those who have helped him implement his ideas.
“I have to give a lot of the credit for my success to the past chiefs. I’ve had mentors in my career, whether they’re state, local, or federal, that have helped me in my career, and I give a lot of credit to the hard-working men and women of the Martinsville Police Department,” he said.
As far as what he plans to do now, Cassady plans to lay low for a while, but he suspects that will not last for long.
“I don’t have anything pressing right now. I’m just going to take some time off, do a few things for myself, and then I like to be outside and do a lot of stuff,” he said, laughing. “I figure I won’t be able to sit still for long.”