Prattville appoints new chiefs

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The Prattville police and fire departments both have new chiefs after several months without permanent leadership. The city council approved the appointments Tuesday night. As many people know, Prattville has been struggling with some major debt recently.

Prattville's new fire chief Terry Brown comes to the job with a few challenges. The department is down 8 people and they're restructuring. Still, he's up for the challenge.

"I've been preparing for this job for 24 years," Brown said.

He's climbed the ranks during that time, most recently serving as interim for six months after the long-term chief retired, leading the department through the city's financial crisis.

"We had to get our house in order," Gillespie said.

Mayor Bill Gillespie says when he took office in January, the city had nearly $3 million dollars worth of debt, now it's down to around $600,000.

"I do see a change in the right direction. So my goal for the police and fire chief is to keep their departments focused," Gillespie said.

The mayor says the police and fire chiefs are integral parts in helping the city move forward.

"The two departments have been working really well together, especially the restraints we have been under lately," Gillespie said.

And those restraints are being felt in the police and fire departments' budgets, less money and slimmer workforces.

"The main goal is to not take from the emergency services that the citizens receive and we have not done that," Brown said.

Both the chief and mayor say they will find ways to continue to tighten the belt while still provide services for the residents of Prattville.