Houston returns as Ridgeland police chief - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Houston returns as Ridgeland police chief

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RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Last Tuesday two men interviewed for Ridgeland Police Chief.

One wanted his job back, while the other wanted a permanent promotion.

Monday night Ridgeland aldermen held a special meeting to choose between former Chief Jimmy Houston and Interim Randy Tyler.

Ridgeland Alderman At-Large Gerald Steen praised both the former and interim chiefs before the board cast their votes for the city's top cop.

"The decision is not easy, every which way we vote the winner is the city," said Steen.

Board members met in closed session Monday for less than 10 minutes before voting five to two to allow Houston to return to the position he held for nine years.

The 59 year old stepped down in May to run for Madison County Sheriff but lost to Republican Randy Tucker.

"Really excited, glad to be home. It's been a long time since January. I didn't realize how much I had missed it," said Re-appointed Ridgeland Chief Jimmy Houston.

The 52 year old Tyler had been assistant chief for nearly four years before being named interim in May.

The 28 year law enforcement officer had hoped to keep the position permanently and said he went through a tough budget process where he added much needed vehicles to the department fleet, secured a new DUI Grant and made a number of personnel changes.

"I just tried to maintain what we had going on. We have a great group of men and women that work for us. They've elected to bring Chief Houston back, and I'm going to work with Chief Houston to make sure that our department remains the best in the state," said Ridgeland Assistant Chief Randy Tyler after the vote.

Ridge land's mayor maintained support for Houston's return while commending Tyler's performance.

"I'm excited too to have Chief Houston back where he needs to be so we can move forward and keep Ridgeland as one of the safest places in America," said Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee.

"The department is certainly better. New eyes took a look at it. Randy's an excellent assistant chief, been an excellent chief, did a good job while he was here. I'm so impressed with Randy Tyler. That's why he's my assistant chief," said Houston.

Ward One Alderman Ken Heard and Ward Three Alderman Kevin Holder voted against rehiring Houston.

Tyler plans to resume his position as assistant police chief.

Ridge land's chief earns an annual salary of about $80,000.00.

Houston officially returns to the department of 65 sworn law officers on October first.

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