COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — After five months as the interim police chief, Columbus Council approved Stoney Mathis as the permanent chief Tuesday morning.

Mathis, the former chief in Fairburn and Chattahoochee Hills, was approved by a unanimous voice vote of the city council. Mayor Skip Henderson, who hired Mathis as the interim chief in May, made the recommendation last month that Mathis be appointed.

“There will always be naysayers, but they are the outliers,” Mathis told council after the vote.

Mathis replaces former Chief Freddie Blackmon, who retired under pressure in April. Blackmon, who was under fire for his leadership from the department’s Fraternal Order of Police, took a $400,000 buyout to retire.

Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Johnny Flakes and NAACP President Wane Hailes tried to speak out of order before the appointment. Henderson shut them down and said they would have time to speak during the public agenda. Flakes and Hailes supported Blackmon before he took the buyout.

“I find it disturbing we can’t come together,” said Councilor Toyia Tucker. “In order for us to move forward we have to come together.”

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