Just eight months ago, Gerald Couch was sworn in as the Gainesville Police Department's new major. Now the department must search for a replacement after Couch resigned Wednesday.
Gainesville Police Chief Brian Kelly said Couch resigned to "pursue other professional endeavors," but Kelly would not speculate on what those plans may be. He said the decision had nothing to do with performance.
It was a short stay for Couch at the police department. Still, he was well respected among his peers and made strides within the department, Kelly said.
"We were glad to have him as a partner for whatever length of time it was," Kelly said.
In April, Couch joined the department after retiring from the Hall County Sheriff's Office, where he spent 30 years of his career. He began working for the sheriff's office at 19 as a patrol deputy before eventually moving up to an investigator.
While working as an investigator, Couch gained a relationship with several county court officials.
Among those is Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh.
"Gerald Couch is an excellent law enforcement officer and I look forward to a continued friendship with him," Darragh said.
As an investigator, Couch worked crimes against people ranging from robberies to homicides. That experience made him a perfect candidate to serve as second in command at the police department, where he reported directly to Kelly.
"He's been a great partner for the City of Gainesville and the Gainesville Police Department," Kelly said. "We wish him well in his future endeavors."
But now the department is once again left with a void.
The search to fill the position of major has not begun, but Kelly expects it to begin soon after the new year. He expects the position to be filled within the next three months.
"That's a very important position in the structure of our agency. It's a vital position to make sure we get filled, but we want to make sure we have the right candidate in place," Kelly said.
Despite being without an assistant police chief, Kelly assures there won't be any lapses in operations.
When Kelly took office in May 2010 there wasn't an assistant police chief position.
Operations will work as they did then when bureau captains worked closely with Kelly to ensure all aspects of the department are handled correctly.
"I don't see any issues or concerns with that coming down the road. We have been in that boat before and we will be able to move right along," Kelly said.