Arcadia Police Chief Charles Mitchell, 53, has retired because of poor health. Capt. Neal Johnson will serve as acting police chief until a permanent replacement is found.

Mitchell, who was named chief in 1974, began his service with the department as a patrolman in 1964. He later became a motorcycle officer and was promoted to sergeant in 1968. When he became chief, he was among 40 candidates for the job and was promoted over four lieutenants and three captains in the department.

He later established an innovative canine program utilizing multiple handlers for police dogs and was known for his undercover narcotics operations. In December, 1981, after a two-month undercover investigation, the department staged a drug bust at Arcadia High School, resulting in the arrest of 23 students and 5 adults on suspicion of drug dealing.

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