Columbus city council discuss new interim police chief

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin, Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins, and Assistant Police Chief Doran Johnson met Friday afternoon to discuss upcoming changes of command at the Columbus Police Department.

Assistant Chief Doran Johnson will become the new Interim Chief.

Columbus City council members held a vote for Johnson to fill the position last week.

“As Mayor of Columbus, I am ultimately responsible for the public safety of all of our citizens. The public deserves to know that the safety level of our community is our top priority, not politics,” Mayor Gaskin said. “CPD Assistant Chief Doran Johnson, who will begin serving as interim Chief of Police on August 16, Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins, and I met Friday afternoon and had a great discussion. We discussed the myriad of issues facing law enforcement professionals today, and what we can do together to ensure public safety and trust,” he said.

Assistant Chief Johnson will begin serving as interim Chief of Police following a vote of the Columbus City Council last week.

“I feel the meeting with myself, Sheriff Hawkins, and Mayor Gaskin was very productive. The fact that what happens in the county affects the city and what happens in the city affects the county lets us know that we must work together as opportunities arise to ensure the safety of all citizens in Columbus and Lowndes County, Chief Johnson added.

“As the City of Columbus begins the national search for the next leader of the Columbus Police Department, the mayor and city council are committed to conducting a professional search that will keep our citizens updated and engaged. We anticipate a formal announcement about the search committee in the coming days,” Mayor Gaskin added.

Police Chief Fred Shelton will retire on August 16th.