COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson announced the hiring of an interim police chief on Friday.

Stoney Mathis will start his role as interim chief on Monday, May 8. Mathis will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the police department as well as the direction and management of the workforce.

A former police chief of Fairburn, Georgia, Mathis has served in law enforcement for 30 years, with 20 of those years including command-level experience. Mathis was elected as 4th Vice Present of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police in 2020.

In 2011, Mathis received a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University where he completed a two-year command college program. Prior to this, Mathis received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Oklahoma’s Cameron University.

Mathis says he’s looking forward to working with Columbus officials.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve the citizens of Columbus and to work with the fine
men and women of the Columbus Police Department. I look forward to working with Mayor
Henderson, the administration, and the members of the Columbus City Council,” said Mathis.

Mathis fills the void left by former Chief Freddie Blackmon. Blackmon retired April 30 after being under job pressure from the Columbus Council. The Council accepted his retirement on April 6.

Mayor Henderson says an executive search firm will be used to search for a permanent chief of police.

“The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police was a tremendous resource for us in identifying Chief Mathis as our Interim Chief. As we continue the search for our next Chief of Police, Chief Mathis’ experience, leadership, communication skills, and dedication to proactive policing make him ideally suited to serve all the citizens of Columbus,” said Mayor Henderson.

A press conference will be held on Monday, May 8 at 10 a.m. in the Basement Training Room of the Public Safety Building. Both Mayor Henderson and Mathis will be in attendance.

You can read the entire news release below: