After months of controversy, the City of Midway will soon have a new police chief.
During their April 1 meeting, Midway city council members voted 3-2 to hire Alexander Freeman as Midway’s chief of police, one month after the Council fired Former Interim Police Chief Shelton Turner.
Turner was on administrative leave since August.
Not all of the council members were in favor of hiring Freeman.
According to Freeman’s résumé, he has been in Law enforcement for more than 20 years, however, this will be his first role as chief.
City Manager Linda Dilworth said she along with KMR Consultants, the City’s consulting firm, advertised the position, and conducted interviews.
Dilworth said they received 42 unduplicated applications since September.
“Upon review of all the résumés and applications received, an examination of the applicants’ law enforcement credentials was also performed by the city manager and KMR Senior Consultant Antonia Jefferson, and the top 20 percent of the applicants were determined, and then followed by eight interviews that were conducted on Sept. 3, 2020.”
Dilworth said second interviews were conducted for the top 3 applicants, on Oct. 20, followed by “exhaustive background screenings, vetting and other human resource assessments”
In other news, the council members also voted to appoint Mayor Ella Dickey and Councilman Braheem Russ to represent Midway on the Gadsden County Canvassing Board.
A meet and greet was held on March 22, where the top 3 candidates were given an opportunity to introduce themselves to members of the council and the community.
Not all of the council members were in favor of hiring
“This may or may not be my last city council meeting, but these last four years, we’re supposed to have been following the charter, and I still have the same question…did we give all of our rights as city council members to KMR team?” Councilman Sam Stevens asked. “This is what I’m being asked in my district now—it’s a question when I knock on the door to speak to some. They say, ‘Gretna’s running our city. Who did that? How did that happen?’”
Jefferson, who is a senior consultant for KMR, is also the City Manager of Gretna.
Stevens said he did not agree with hiring a police chief without giving members of the community enough notice about the to meet the candidates. As of Tuesday afternoon, Dilworth’s executive assistant, Katherine Lewis, could not provide a publication date for when the special meeting held on March 22 was advertised.
Despite Stevens’ protest, Mayor Ella Dickey, Councilman Braheem Russ, Councilwoman NanDrycka King Albert voted in favor of hiring Freeman as the new police chief. Stevens and Colston voted against it.