Lady Lake’s immensely popular and well-respected police chief has tendered his resignation.
Chris McKinstry, the town’s chief of police for the past seven years, turned in his resignation Wednesday morning.
McKinstry is well known in the community, having hosted popular National Night Out events, organized events that collected bicycles and provided free haircuts for children in need and spoken at events including ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park in The Villages. This past weekend he was part of the security detail for a visit by Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis at La Hacienda Recreation Center.
Lady Lake Town Manager Kris Kollgaard confirmed McKinstry’s resignation.
“He’s done a good job,” Kollgaard said.
She said she suspects he’s looking for a “new challenge.”
McKinstry served in law enforcement in Broward County for many years, before coming to Lady Lake.
Capt. Robert Tempesta, a Lady Lake Police Department veteran, will be named interim chief, Kollgaard said. McKinstry will remain on the payroll through the end of December, thanks to some accumulated vacation and personal time.
His resignation comes at a time when two local police chiefs jobs are open:
• Wildwood Police Chief Paul Valentino resigned as that city’s top cop on Monday.
• Fruitland Park is without a police chief after a snafu over Michael Fewless’ pension.