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franklin county times

Police chief: 110 days and counting

By Staff
Nov. 7, 2001
The city of Meridian has been without a permanent police chief now for 110 days and the public still doesn't know for sure what criteria are being used in Mayor John Robert Smith's behind-the-scenes nomination process. While some candidates have stepped forward and identified themselves, responded to questions from the media and had their photos in the paper, the interviewing and selection process has never been disclosed.
Meridian police officers have become so concerned that a substantial majority of them signed a petition urging, among other things, that a chief be named as soon as possible. Presenting a petition to the city council is an extraordinary action on the part of dedicated law enforcement professionals who clearly are concerned about their city. They know they must work with whomever is eventually named and they also know the council must confirm the nomination.
Knowing now that sentiment is running very high among the officers who serve this city the ones in the best position to assess what impact the lack of a chief is having on their abilities to protect and serve surely the mayor will act soon. Perhaps he will even make his choice known in the next few days.