Como Police Chief

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Como votes to hire interim police chief

By John Howell Sr.

Como aldermen in an emergency meeting Thursday evening voted to appoint police officer Fred Boskey as interim police chief. The emergency meeting was called after the resignations of interim Police Chief Mike Davis and Assistant Chief Earl Burdette.

Vice-Mayor Forster Ruhl presided during Thursday’s meeting, following the Jan. 9 death of Como Mayor Judy Sumner. Aldermen Clark Gregory, Bill Mitchell and Everette Hill attended in person. Alderman Ruby Higginbottom was out of town but attended via a telephone conference call.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sardis Mayor Rusty Dye also attended the meeting and made a statement to reassure Como residents of his city’s continued support. Dye said he had fielded phone inquiries apparently fueled by rumors that Sardis had withdrawn assistance it has provided while Sumner had held office.

Dye said that his city would continue helping Como with sewer problems, police dispatching and other police and fire support and as well as with assistance in other areas.

The aldermen considered four full-time Como officers — Harold Lewis, Travis Nichols, Larry Wright and Boskey — for the interim chief position. Lewis, Nichols, Wright attended the meeting. Each man expressed interest in the job and stated his qualifications and experience. Boskey, interviewed by telephone, expressed similar interest and stated his qualifications. Each applicant told the aldermen that they could work under whomever was chosen.

After about 20 minutes’ discussion, Mitchell made a motion to name Boskey as the interim chief. Hill provided a second and Gregory and Higgenbottom voted “aye” to make the decision unanimous. As vice-mayor, Ruhl could not vote.

In additional discussion, aldermen agreed that the interim chief would work under a 90-day probationary period.

Hill also urged adoption of written standard operating procedures for the chief’s position. Dye offered a copy of standard operating procedures his city has acquired.

Como has operated with an interim police chief position since the town fired former Police Chief Cleve Gale.

Former Interim Chief Davis and Assistant Chief Burdette are Panola County sheriff’s deputies who had also worked part-time as Como officers since October, 2008. Former Panola Sheriff Hugh “Shot” Bright had asked the deputies to help the municipality during a crisis in the police department.

Davis and Burdette both cited the timing of a decision to change locks on city buildings immediately after Sumner’s death as prompting their decisions to resign.