Columbia mayor says residency issue should be put to rest - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Columbia mayor says residency issue should be put to rest

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - The list of qualifications for the city of Columbia's new police chief was detailed.

"We wanted someone very professional, well trained, qualified, certified, uh knows their job," said Columbia Mayor Reed Houston.

Last week the board of aldermen voted to hire Jim Kinslow as the new chief. Houston said Kinslow has all of those qualifications and more, but he lacks one qualification according to the job application.

The application states that the candidate must live in Marion County. Kinslow lives outside of the county in Jeff Davis County. Kinslow said in an interview with WDAM last week that he was up front during the whole interview process.

"One of the aldermen asked me about relocating, and I said no, I have no intentions of relocating so if that's going to be an issue you all need to think about that when you are voting," said Kinslow.

Mayor Houston said he and the board decided not to make his residency an issue because Kinslow was the best candidate.

"It is hard to get qualified people that live in your county or city so we do have to go outside," said Houston. "It has been an unwritten rule here that we've done that in multiple departments."

Houston also said there is no city ordinance that would require Kinslow to live in the county. He said it's a policy that has been listed on applications, but was never really paid attention to.

"I take responsibility for not looking at it and I should have," Houston said. "I didn't know it was in there or it wouldn't have been."

Kinslow has accepted the job and will take over as the new chief March 1st. 


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