Caresse Jackman

About Caresse Jackman

Video: Reverse Police Chief Decision Sparks Debate

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI)- The Amory Board of Aldermen held their meeting tonight. It was a packed house as people wanted to hear about the reverse decision pertaining to the police chief.

Monday night, the board met for nearly 3 hours in a special-called meeting and voted 4 to 1 to return the police chief’s position back to an elected position, rather than appointed. Something Chief Ronnie Bowen is happy about.

“I think voting is a core value of this country. That’s what this country is founded on. I think the people can vote and should be able to vote,” says Chief Bowen.

Some people at the meeting are happy to see the decision reverse but say it never should’ve happened in the first place, like Amory resident Charlie Peden.

“The government of MS giving them the right to elect a police chief is taking my rights away. And I didn’t give the State of MS the permission to take my rights away,” says Peden.

Others, like Justin Franks, say they don’t want see any problems, like what’s happening right now in Aberdeen.

“The big debacle with police chief from giving from an elected official to an appointed official and other things going on with government over there. We need to have our own say,” says Franks.

But not everyone was thrilled. One woman stood up to say she was angry with the board’s reverse decision and say the police chief hasn’t been doing a good job. Bowen admits he isn’t perfect but still says he’ll do his job to the best of his ability.

“Will I make everybody happy? No, but you can’t. You gotta do what you think is the right thing to do. Could I do better, I strive, I make errors. I’m human and all the policemen do. We’re not above anyone else. But we are public servants. And that’s all we can offer, we don’t have any products at all,” says Chief Bowen.

Bowen has been Amory Police Chief for 19 years. He plans to run again when his term is up June next year.

The board also voted to appoint Alderman Bill Lyle as police commissioner. He’ll act as a liaison between the chief of police and the board.