STALLINGS – After serving 35 years of law enforcement and emergency services, Police Chief Minor Plyler Jr. is looking forward to a new chapter in his life – retirement.
Plyler has served the community for 12 years. He was appointed police chief in June 2012, a few years after his brother founded the department. He too retired as police chief. Plyler’s last day is March 28.
“It’s been an amazing journey, and I can’t imagine a better place to wrap it up,” Plyler said, noting he couldn’t have asked for a better council or colleagues. “I’m only leaving because I have 35 years in and I want to do something else for a while.”
Colleagues describe Plyler as a man with a big heart, as well as consistently positive, extremely understanding and bit of a jokester. He is mostly viewed as a mentor by many and has demonstrated exceptional leadership.
“He reinstated community police and services division when he became chief here and put me in that [community relations officer] position so that we can have a direct link to the community,” Ben Davis said. “Both he and his brother, Larke, have a very community-orientated policing philosophy.”
After his brother retired, the police department hired an outside chief for roughly a year. Things didn’t work out, and Plyler filled the role without a second thought.
“That year was a tough year for us,” he said. “But we just refocused on what this department’s mission was supposed to be. Our growth has been getting a stronger relation to the community. That’s why we have such amazing community support here.”
Plyler said the reason why Stalling is continuously named one of the safest towns in the nation is because of community and their trust in the police department.
“We keep ranking as one of the safest cities,” he said. “It’s not because we’re going out there and preventing all this crime because the people in this town watch out for each other.”
Vehicle break-ins are still the number one crime committed in Stallings, mainly because people don’t lock their doors in neighborhoods.
Roughly 10 years ago, when Plyler was on patrol, the mayor at the time thought it would be best for the town not to have a police department, but instead, contract that out to the sheriff’s office similar to what Indian Trail does.
“It works great for them,” Plyler said. “The townspeople came out and filled up this town hall and said ‘no, you’re not getting rid of our department.’ So we owe our existence to the town. Whenever I interview people here, I always tell that story, and I tell them that we pay them back every day.”
Since his time as police chief, the department has gained a K-9 officer and community relations officer. There are 23 sworn positions and three civilian positions.
“I will miss Minor’s humor, calm demeanor and commitment to helping his fellow human being,” Town Manager Alex Sewell said. “The town will use a best-practices approach to evaluating and selecting our community’s next police chief with the goal of filling the position by fall 2019.”
While searching for Plyler’s successor Assistant Police Chief John Flynn will act as police chief.
“I can’t wait to see what happens next in the future,” Plyler said.
During his retirement, Plyler hopes to travel more and will enjoy not being on call for the first time in 35 years.