Craig Knight, a 23-year veteran with the Moulton Police Department, was appointed the city’s new police chief at a City Council meeting Monday night.
District 2 Councilman Jason White, a state trooper, made the motion for the city to appoint Knight. Councilwoman Denise Lovett seconded the motion, which passed 6-0.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be appointed this position,” Knight said. “I want my officers and the public, too, to know I will have an open-door policy.”
District 4 Councilwoman Cassandra Lee said she will hold Knight to a high bar. “I will want him and his officers to be fair to everyone, regardless of their color or where they live in the city.”
Knight was among three candidates interviewed for the position by the council last Thursday. The three candidates, Knight, Russell Graham and Casey Baker each said they were interested in hiring a minority police officer and improving community relations if they were selected as the next chief.
Fielding questions for about 20 minutes each from Moulton City Council members, each candidate said it was past time the Police Department had a qualified minority and possibly a bilingual officer to join the force.
Knight, who served as a supervisor for the department the past 14 years, said he would work to boost department morale and improve relations with surrounding law enforcement agencies.
“The morale is not good in our department,” he said. “We’re in need of more equipment. With better equipment, we can do a better job. We need to recruit officers with more than just an ad in The Moulton Advertiser.”
He said he’d like to improve working relationships with neighboring law enforcement agencies.
“We can be better,” he said. “I’m interested in building back pride and having a better relationship with other law enforcement groups.”
He said he would set up quarterly town hall meetings to build stronger ties with the community.
The department has 11 officers and each candidate said that number needs to grow.
The pay range for the Moulton police chief ranges from $25.60 to $36.89 an hour depending on experience.
Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter is retiring Jan. 31 after 15 years as chief. He worked with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years before joining the Moulton police department.