Chief Riley welcomes new recruit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The first new hire of the new order at the Selma Police Department met the public Tuesday.

Matt Skelton has just completed his training at the police academy. Chief William Riley III talked about Skelton as the first new hire of his administration.

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Riley said he is impressed with Skelton. There&8217;s pressure on this new recruit to be a standard above and beyond the minimum.

Skelton begins field training now after his graduation from the academy.

&8220;We want to get it right,&8221; the chief said.

Riley acknowledged the department is short on people. He has 13 positions to fill;

patrol level and administrative posts. But the chief wants good people.

New hires at the police department will reflect those standards, he said, adding that the department will let go of the past and move forward.

Still, the chief has some challenges.

Funding is a key issue. Riley wants better training, better technology and equipment. All that takes money.

The chief said his short-term goals are hiring good recruits after thorough background investigations, training senior people and new recruits to meet the public&8217;s demands, increasing technology and funding.

All this leads to more effective policing, which means working in the community and building bridges, Riley said.