Columbus City Council approves appointment of new police chief

Published: Oct. 9, 2023 at 4:40 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2023 at 9:47 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus has a new police chief after a recent city council meeting. The item to vote on the appointment of Interim Police Chief Stoney Mathis has been approved by the council.

In a meeting earlier this week, some Columbus residents talked about crime in the city. They said after so many homicides, they want crime to stop and hope a new police chief will help solve the issue.

Tabitha Ruiz has been in Columbus four years and says she has been a victim of recent crime herself.

“When I first moved in, we didn’t see that much, but within the last six months, we have seen an uptick. Myself included and having my truck broken into and my stuff stolen out of it.”

While she says the crime isn’t as serious as murders or sexual assault, she says she filed a police report online, and nothing has been done about it.

“I never once got a follow up from anybody. Not event as much as a phone call.”

The mayor’s agenda for the meeting is to appoint Mathis, who has been serving as Interim Police Chief since May. All of this came after former Police Chief Freddie Blackmon was forced into retirement in March of this year. When asked, residents had plenty to say about the selection of Mathis.

“He needs to make sure he works for every community, not just one community. You know just be for everybody,” one resident said.

“I got a chance to meet him. [He] seems like a great guy. He seems to have a good rapport with the folks that he works with. Just good,” another resident said.