Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley resigns

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 4:09 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed has announced the resignation of Police Chief Ernest Finley.

Reed sent the following statement Tuesday afternoon after accepting Finley’s resignation:

“We are grateful to Chief Finley for his service to the city of Montgomery and his dedication to doing what is right for our community. His work to implement community policing measures increased trust, transparency and accountability within MPD and the city.

While violent crime rates have climbed across the nation, Montgomery has fared much better than other cities our size; but I am convinced we can and must do more. Chief Finley has done a tremendous job with the task he inherited in 2015. Notably, Montgomery was the only major city in the state of Alabama that did not suffer damage during last summer’s civil unrest, but the situation and circumstances have changed. I feel it is in the best interest of the men and women of the Montgomery Police Department, as well as the residents of Montgomery, to make a change in leadership.”

There is no confirmation yet on his exact reason for leaving. However, the announcement comes amid a rise in violent crimes in the city, something Finley has addressed multiple times.

Also, Montgomery police were involved in an incident last month that left a kidnapping suspect dead outside Microtel Inn & Suites. Police initially said there was a gunfire exchange with officers. The district attorney and mayor later said the suspect shot himself, but the family said he was unarmed and police shot him.

There have also been complaints about leadership and allegations of bullying and cover-ups within the department. Some current and former officers brought these concerns to the City Council in April.

City officials, including Councilman Cornelius “CC” Calhoun, said Finley resigned and was not fired. Calhoun did not say the reason for the resignation.

A city spokesman said MPD chief of staff Zedrick Dean will serve as acting chief until the city announces an interim chief.

Finley has been Montgomery’s police chief since January 2015. He was brought in under former Mayor Todd Strange. The city said before that, he was with the Atlanta Police Department for 29 years, serving as deputy chief and field operations division commander.

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