Natchez aldermen choose new chief

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2003

After months of interviews and interim leadership, the Natchez Board of Aldermen on Monday approved a new police chief for the city.

The vote was not unanimous, however. Two aldermen voted against naming Mike Mullins the new chief. Mullins has served since last summer as the interim chief.

Alderman Ricky Gray, citing internal problems in the department, said he would rather have seen someone from outside take over the police force.

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But Gray also pledged to work with Mullins as he takes on the position officially.

We’re glad to see that attitude, and we hope it extends to everyone on the board of aldermen and throughout the city.

With so many allegations leveled in the last year at the police force &045; including ticket-writing &uot;quotas&uot; and internal officer cliques &045; we need city leaders willing to work together to address the problems.

Aldermen Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West said all three of the final candidates stressed the importance of training, community policing and being accountable to the public.

While we &045; and aldermen &045; would have liked to have seen a new chief named sooner, we understand that the process of interviewing and selecting the right person for such a high-profile position was difficult and required much thought and attention.

We appreciate the hard work of those who selected the chief.

Mullins has been a strong leader for the department since Chief Willie Huff resigned last July, and we expect Mullins to continue.

We wish him luck as he makes this transition.