COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It’s the dawn of a new era for the Columbus Police Department as the new chief is officially confirmed by city council just days after a violent streak hit the city.
Friends, family, and fraternity brothers all surrounded Freddie Blackmon Tuesday as Columbus City Council confirmed his appointment as chief of police.
“Here you are. You are tenacious, you did everything right, you’re qualified and you knew it. You had the confidence in your qualities and I’m just really happy I was able to vote for you today," said District 5 Councilwoman Charmaine Crabb.
“It is very exciting for me to be able to receive this appointment and confirmation as chief of police in the town I grew up in, the town where I live, work and play in," Blackmon said.
Blackmon said his goal is to create trust and develop community relations while protecting his hometown community. One thing that needs his attention and the mayor’s is the violence.
“It’s crazy. I can’t tell you how much it sickens me to hear about a child being shot and killed by gunfire," Mayor Skip Henderson said.
“Law enforcement is just one component involved in reducing violence," said Blackmon. “We’re going to do our part as far as investigating cases, so we encourage individuals who may have information to be able to bring forth information.”
Henderson said he and Blackmon are already discussing ideas and implementing plans to attack the gun violence issue head on.
“You get two guys out there, maybe they’re involved in gangs or drugs or whatever it is, and sometimes they’re just an innocent bystander. But when you take that life, you impact so many lives." We’re going to get you because in Columbus, Georgia, typically when you commit a crime, our police department does an amazing job. Our detectives are going to catch them.”
Approving Freddie Blackmon as the new chief was a unanimous vote by city council According to the mayor, they interviewed people both inside and outside of the department, gathered citizens to get their input on what they wanted in a new chief, and had three panels of people asking the candidates questions.
Henderson said Blackmon’s knowledge and vast experience over his 36 years at the Columbus Police Department made him a top choice.