Video: Columbus Police Dept Leadership

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COLUMBUS, Miss.(WCBI)–Columbus Police Chief Tony Carleton’s resignation is one in a long list of top cops having been appointed to a position they don’t usually hold for a very long time.

In the past 25 years there has been eight police chiefs appointed to lead the columbus police department. And with the departure of Carlton, there is a need to look for the ninth.

“Yeah, thats a lot of chiefs, but its a special job and a special amount of things that are happening. And there is a lot of stuff that’s happening in the peripherals that go along with that. Its not a typical job,” said Joseph St. John/Former Police Chief.

“It was a surprise to me when he called me last night and asked me could he meet with me,” said Mayor Robert Smith/Columbus.

St. John, who led the department between 2007 and 2011 before the council voted him out, is telling us he did not expect to stick around for very long.

“You are not going to be hired for a long period of time, because it is just a job that has a lot of stress involved. There is a lot of things out in the community, things that can happen. And you have to react to it,” said Joseph St. John.

As far as St. John is concerned, the issue of race when appointing a police chief in the Friendly City, is not the issue. The city must appoint a leader who works best with the people.

“They want to be able to come in and talk to them, they want somebody that they can reach out and touch and most importantly somebody thats going to be in the community. So there is some sort of partnership,” said Joseph St. John.

“It will be up to the council what we want to do or national search or local search or you know look inside or whatever. It will be left up to the council at the present time,” said Mayor Robert Smith/Columbus.

“And a lot of times much like a football team, if somebody is not really happy with all the direction its going in, they may want to bring in another leader,” said Joseph St. John.

Veteran officer, Captain Fred Shelton, has taken over Chief Carlton’s duties until the city council appoints an interim chief.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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