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Mayor: New Montgomery police chief needed to improve city data

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed has addressed the resignation of Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley for the first time on camera since last week’s announcement.

Reed said it was time to make the move because the city didn’t seen improvement in some of the data and there wasn’t a clear plan on reversing the trends.

“Well, I think it was a time to make the move simply because we didn’t see an improvement in some of the data. And we didn’t quite have a clear plan of how to reverse the trends for the rest of the year. And we all have to earn our jobs every day, myself included, and our number one responsibility is to the public,” said Reed. “And when that confidence becomes shaken, without a plan to change that, then it puts into question whether or not we can move forward and expect different results.”

“The other part of it is also we have to be strong internal leaders, and there have been questions around the internal environment as well and that’s something that we all have to manage in any leadership position of an organization. So that kind of what were the biggest reasons for that and we look forward to turning the page and moving forward,” he said.

Reed thanked Finley and his family for their work in the community and said the community policing is very strong.

“But this environment has changed right now and we have to have someone that can adapt to where we are and put together a plan to reverse the crime trends that we’re seeing right now,” he said.

Reed says they intend to name an interim in the next two weeks then begin a national search for a replacement.

In the meantime, MPD chief of staff Zedrick Dean is currently serving as the interim chief.

“It’s going to take as long as it needs to for us to get the right person in. You know, ideally, we’d like to be able to do it in 90 days, but we haven’t named an interim yet and we expect to do that within the next couple of weeks. And from there, we’ll start the national search to try to bring in the best person to lead MPD and to protect and serve this community,” Reed said.

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