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Video: Aldermen Approve Police Chief as Appointed Position

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI)-The Aberdeen Board of Aldermen made several changes to the city charter Tuesday night.

Among those, making Police Chief an appointed position. Ever since the city was founded nearly 175 years ago, the people of Aberdeen elected their chief of police, but in a 3 to 2 vote, the Alderman approved the changes.

Next, city leaders will forward the amendments to Jackson, for approval.

Jackie Benson, Aberdeen’s city clerk,  says the amendments to the special charter will be sent to the Secretary of State’s office and the Governor’s office before it comes back to Aberdeen.

Current Police Chief Henry Randle was against the amendment. He thinks an elected position better ensures the rights of all citizens.

“If it does pass, it doesn’t affect the chief of police that we have now, it will affect his next term, that’s 2016,” says Benson.

The special changes will also remove offensive language that’s been in the charter for more than 100 years.

“It still has something in there about slaves and that you have to have a light if you were walking downtown. A lot of stuff that doesn’t apply to us any longer,” says Benson.

The entire amendment process should take about 3 to 4 months to complete.