New Opelika Police Chief John McEachern first day on the job - WRBL

New Opelika Police Chief John McEachern first day on the job

Posted: Updated:
OPELIKA, Ala. -

It's official.  The Opelika Police Department has a new chief.  It was the first day on the job for
new Opelika Police chief John McEachern.  He was sworn-in Monday morning at the Municipal Courthouse.  The new department head has plans to strengthen ties with the community.

Out of 52 applicants, Mayor Gary Fuller said McEachern was a stand-out with 24 years of FBI experience, and more than a decade with the Opelika Police Department.  "He's going to do a great job.  He'll be an excellent chief," said Mayor Fuller.

"It feels great. I'm excited," said McEachern.  The new police chief was sworn in, at the start of his first day of work.   He was embraced by supporters and spent part of the day getting situated in his office and meeting staff.  "I've had several come to me and tell me they're excited about coming to work for me and I told every one of them, they don't work for me, we all work together," said McEachern.

Mayor Fuller says it's a rare occasion.  It's been 22 years since the department had a new head.  In February, Fuller asked former Chief Tommy Mangham to retire, with 46 years of service to Opelika PD under his belt.  McEachern worked under Mangham for several years.  "He did an outstanding job as did the chiefs of police before him.  I just hope that I can step up to the plate and do the same job.  One that the citizens of Opelika will be proud of the police department," said McEachern.  With a background of service from Opelika, Chief Mceachern says he's gotten a lot of support so far.  He's also putting emphasis on plans to have a more community oriented police department.

"I've gotten phone calls, emails, text messages...and I know with the citizens support we can get the job done here.  We're going to serve the citizens of Opelika with professionalism," said McEachern. "Glad to have him and look forward to great things," said Mayor Fuller.

McEachern says Opelika is home, but he's still getting acclimated to the department, so don't expect any 'drastic' changes too soon.  The new chief says he wants to hear from citizens and he's pushing an open door policy.

The police department has the highest budget of any office in the city. Opelika has dedicated more than $8.3 million to the department for fiscal year 2013.

Brandice Hudson

Brandice Hudson is a weekend anchor and digital journalist for WRBL News 3. She comes to Columbus from sunny West Palm Beach, Fla. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Columbus man hit by own car after crashing on 1st Avenue

    Columbus man hit by own car after crashing on 1st Avenue

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:30:43 GMT
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
  • Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:11:34 GMT
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
  • Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:49 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:49:52 GMT
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.