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Meridian investigator named DeKalb police chief

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Aug. 1, 2001
DEKALB A Meridian investigator named Tuesday as the new chief of the DeKalb Police Department could be sworn in as early as today.
Town officials here hired Kirk Merchant, who heads Merchant Investigations of Meridian, to a position that has been open for almost six months.
Merchant was described by Hall as a seasoned investigator who worked as a police officer in Meridian and Forest and also handled private investigation duties. He also worked with an area drug task force.
Merchant has about 16 years experience in law enforcement. He was chosen from nine applicants, six of whom were interviewed for the position.
Acting Police Chief Gerald Donald also applied, but the board of aldermen decided to hire Merchant instead, Hall said.
This was Donald's third time to serve as acting chief, Hall said. He had been serving as chief since Feb. 15, when former police chief Jeff Jowers resigned. Hall said Jowers decided to take another position out of the area.
Another officer with the department also applied. Hall said the rest of the applicants came from outside the police department.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.