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McAlister interviews for police chief job

By By Suzanne Monk/The Meridian Star
Oct. 14, 2001
Lt. John McAlister has become the third person to announce that he has interviewed for the city's top law enforcement job chief of the Meridian Police Department.
McAlister, a 28-year veteran of the MPD, transferred back to the patrol division this year after a three-year stint as an investigator.
McAlister said he interviewed with Mayor John Robert Smith for the police chief position about three weeks ago.
McAlister is a graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and has been a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard's 186th Air Refueling Wing for 34 years. The tradition runs in the family; his son and wife are also members of the Guard.
John and Wanda McAlister live in Collinsville and attend Westwood Baptist Church. The family includes two children. Brian McAlister is a registered nurse and works at the Meridian Fire Department. Whitney McAlister is a junior at Meridian High School.
In his off-duty time, McAlister coaches 11- and 12-year-old girls softball and plays on two local softball teams.
McAlister said the Meridian Police Department needs permanent leadership. The police chief's position has been vacant since early July, when former Chief Gregg Lewis announced his retirement.
Two other officers are known to have interviewed for the police chief's position Acting Chief Benny DuBose and Capt. Roger Welborn. Capt. Keith McCary has reportedly also submitted his resume for consideration.
It is not known when the announcement from the mayor's office will come.
Suzanne Monk is managing editor of The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3229, or e-mail her at smonk@themeridianstar.com.