Columbia PD swears in new police chief

Columbia PD swears in new police chief
Michael Kelly, who was the former police chief of Seminary Police Department, has been appointed Columbia Police Department police chief. (Photo Source: WDAM)

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - There is a new police chief in town specifically Columbia. Michael Kelly was sworn in Friday as the police chief of the Columbia Police Department.

"I'm just so privileged to be able to work with a group of people that's already here at the Columbia Police Department," Kelly said. "They are doing such an incredible job and I'm just going to join them."

Kelly was appointed to the position Monday after serving as the department's code enforcement officer for less than a year. The Columbia Board of Aldermen voted 4 to 0 to hire him.

"We're going to make it a good transition," he said. "It's already been a good transition."

Kelly is replacing former police chief Mike Cooper. On Monday, Cooper submitted his resignation letter. In his letter, he said he had to decide between "financial security for his family and his love for law enforcement." In addition to pursuing his wrecker business full-time, he also wanted to go home to be a "paw-paw."

"I just appreciate what Chief Cooper has done in the past several years to get the department where it's at right now," said Kelly. "It's really made it easy for me."

Kelly is the former police chief of the Seminary Police Department. WDAM previously reported that Kelly resigned in March 2017 due to stress and needing more financial security for his family.