The leadership in Centerville, mayor and City Council, should have seen this train wreck coming. Once City Councilman Ed Tucker, in a convoluted arrangement, resigned from council and was given the newly created position of director of police services, the train was rumbling down the tracks straight at them. In the same stroke of insanity, council also eliminated the assistant police chief’s position, who at the time was actually the interim police chief W.G. Cooley due to the retirement of Chief Sid Andrews.
This might have worked if Tucker had a background in law enforcement rather than education. And while his experience as a National Guard officer counts for something, it was impossible for it to sit well with the officers on the Centerville police force, knowing their colleague had been summarily dismissed and everyone else, including Lt. Phillip Prichett, the senior ranking officer left standing, passed over.
The atmosphere had become so sour that Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton has been asked to help manage the department. A memorandum of understanding is being finalized between the Talton’s office and Centerville that will possibly station two Houston County deputies there.
That is the only intelligent decision in this entire fiasco, but the repercussions on the city and its leadership won’t easily disappear.