Palmetto Police Chief Garry Lowe abruptly retires

Palmetto Police Chief Garry Lowe unexpectedly announced his retirement this afternoon, saying he made the decision after "much thought and consideration."

Other than saying it was time, he declined to say anything else about what prompted his decision.

"I love the city of Palmetto," Lowe said in a hastily called press conference at Palmetto City Hall. "I think we got a lot accomplished."

Rick Wells, son of retired Manatee Sheriff Charlie Wells, is being named Lowe's successor as Palmetto's top officer, Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant announced at the press conference. The Palmetto City Council must approve her recommendation.

Lowe, who has worked for the department since 1981, makes an annual salary of $94,135 per year, not including benefits as police chief, according to city records. He has been police chief for the past nine years.

For more on this breaking news, please see Thursday's edition of the Bradenton Herald.