Officers react to new chief appointment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Selma police officers and city officials are optimistic about the future of their embattled department.

The hiring of a William T. Riley III, a captain in the Newport News, Va., police department as Selma&8217;s new chief of police, means changes are on the way. Most officers openly welcome it.

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Selma Detective Tory Neely has been with the department since 1995. Neely admitted to visiting the Newport News department&8217;s Web site to learn more about his new boss.

Riley applied for the position through the search firm of Slavin Management of Norcross, Ga., and was chosen from a field of three finalists. Mayor James Perkins Jr. announced Tuesday in a news conference at City Hall that Riley was his choice, and his first day on the job would be March 4.

Council President George Evans said he was impressed by Riley. &8220;In my opinion he was the top guy. Based on the interviews, he would have been my top choice,&8221; he said.

Councilman Cecil Williamson said he had not met Riley. &8220;But I am sure he&8217;ll be different from what we&8217;re used to here in Selma.

Hopefully, he can clean up some of the mess in the Selma Police Department.&8221;