The search for Opelika's new police chief continues - WRBL

The search for Opelika's new police chief continues

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OPELIKA, Ala. -

The search for Opelika's next police chief continues, and the mayor is looking forward to picking a fresh face for the department.

Former police chief Tommy Mangham served Opelika for 46 years before being forced into early retirement last month after Mayor Gary Fuller said the department needed new leadership. Now a number of outsiders are vying for the top spot.

Law enforcers from all over the country are applying for Opelika's opening for police chief, except the ones from Opelika. None of the four captains in the department wanted the job and Fuller says this is the first time he can remember that someone from outside the department will be taking over.

Fuller says, "I intend to find the very best person we can find to lead our department. It will be the first time in many, many years, maybe the first time ever, that we've gone outside the department to find a new chief."

He says one of the most important qualifications for the job is administrative skills, as the police department has the highest budget of any office in the city. The city has dedicated over $8.3 million to the police for the 2013 fiscal year.

"It happens to be our largest department, largest number of employees, largest budget," he says, "so it requires a good deal of administrative abilities to manage the department."

After the applicants are narrowed down by Human Resources, the mayor will hand pick his choice for chief. "It just becomes a matter of who's the best qualified, who has the most experience, and then ultimately the person that I think will do the best job of leading our department in the coming years," says Fuller.

The mayor adds that another important quality he's looking for is leadership skills, as the chief will be in charge of over 100 employees.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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