HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After Tuesday's city council meeting and the retirement announcement of Hattiesburg Police Chief Frazier Bolton, the question is what does this mean for Chief Bolton and the police department.
"The chief will be the chief until August or until a person that I bring that the council actually votes for," said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.
The police chief position that Bolton holds since being sworn in as chief in November 2007 is one of the multiple spots that the mayor was given a deadline by Feb. 23RD to appoint someone for the position.
According to DuPree, when the choice is made for the next chief, Bolton will then take over the role as Director of Public Safety.
"So he actually is going to help me through some special projects that we have to complete," said DuPree.
Some of the projects the director will be tasked with include; moving the police and fire department into another facility, obtaining working body microphones for police, the P.A.L. program, as well as securing funding for the Hawkins gym project.
"It was a position that was already in the manpower report, it had a salary range that was comparable or compatible to where we needed it to be, and all we would have to do as a council is to fund that position when the new chief is chosen," said City Council President Kim Bradley.
Despite the court deadline for the mayor to submit his appointments, DuPree added that he does have a few names in mind for chief.
"Lets recognize the issues that we have, lets work on the morale, lets work on getting things back to the way the citizens of Hattiesburg are used to and that's having the number one police force in the state of Mississippi," said Bradley.
As far as the Director of Public Safety position when August arrives…
"Chief Bolton in August when he leaves, that position will no longer be a position with the City of Hattiesburg," said DuPree.
Mayor DuPree added that in August Bolton will be vested in the State of Mississippi, making him eligible for state retirement.
With that being said, whether Bolton is still in the position as chief or Director of Public Safety, come August, he should no longer be employed by the City of Hattiesburg.