October 17, 2007
MAYOR AND COUNCIL COMPROMISE
Something we haven't seen a lot of in recent years happened at City Hall in Hattiesburg Tuesday night. The majority of the city council and Mayor Dupree reached consensus on the appointment of Frazier Bolton as the new Hattiesburg chief of police beginning November 1st.
The making of the compromise was not simple. Nor was it without a certain amount of controversy and skepticism. But, we hope it proves to be a faithful and fruitful decision.
Interim Chief Frank Misenhelter has done nothing short of heroic work in the past seven months rebuilding and restoring a department torn asunder under former chief David Wynn. Wynn turned out to be the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time and the city suffered because that fact was not dealt with much earlier. Misenhelter stepped up to the plate, turned things in the right direction and the results speak for themselves.
He just didn't want the job as chief. He will be an invaluable assistant however to Chief Bolton and we urge the new chief to lean heavily on the skills, leadership ability, and talent he is fortunate to inherit. We expect a continued positive direction for the department under Chief Bolton and he certainly has the experience and credentials to handle the job.
Mayor Dupree was quoted as saying that the city of Hattiesburg, his administration and the city council all grew. I have to agree. Now let's see crime continue to go in the opposite direction as it has been. We urge support for the new chief and congratulate him on being named to the post. As with any new change in leadership, there will be no shortage of eyes on how he handles the job. Those eyes should neither be overly critical, nor blind. Hattiesburg deserves the best. At this point there is no reason to believe we got anything less in Frazier Bolton.
I'm Jim Cameron and we look forward to your comments.