The City of Walthourville has two new public safety leaders following the swearing in of new fire and police chiefs.
Sworn in were Chris Reed as police chief and John Pittman as fire chief.
“There is no doubt in my mind these two men are capable of doing the job,” Walthourville Mayor Larry Baker said.
Reed has been the interim police chief since former chief Al Hagan took over as chief deputy for the Liberty County Sheriff ’s Office in September.
“My goal for this department is to continue to bridge the gap with the community,” Chief Reed said. “This is a community- based, oriented police department. With policing today, we want to make sure that the public understands our job. We’re here to help them. We want them to understand this department will be there for them.”
Chief Reed said he wants to ensure that the department’s policies are up to date.
“We have a great department and I want to make sure the department grows,” he said.
The WPD has Axon video systems in use.
“I think that is a great tool,” Chief Reed said. “We can go back and review our officers’ cameras. We can go live feed and watch a traffic stop. I think we have the best equipment in the state.”
Reed, who has been in law enforcement for 18 years, has 10 sworn officers and two civilians under his command and said his department does more than watch traffic.
“We want to make sure people know this is a place not to bring crime to,” the chief said.
Pittman, who has been with the department for 10 years, is replacing fire chief Gary Fairchild. He said he wants to bring in more trucks and provide better coverage. There are 16 fire fighters and Pittman said he wants to build that number to 25.
“I will do to the best of my ability to serve this city as fire chief,” Chief Pittman said.
Walthourville’s current ISO rating is 5, and Chief Pittman said he wants to lower it to 3.