Gleason Police Chief Paul Eddlemon (right) welcomes newly hired Police Officer Jacob Howington to the Gleason Police Department, during Thursday night’s meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Gleason Police Chief Paul Eddlemon, who was appointed to the position in December, gave his first official report during Thursday night’s Gleason City Board meeting.
Although Eddlemon is a Gleason native and well-liked in the community, he was hired amidst a storm of opposition from many local citizens, who were outraged that Assistant Police Chief David King was not promoted to the position, following the retirement of Chief Jeff Hazlewood.
During the December board meeting, Gleason citizens voiced their support for promoting long-time Assistant Police Chief David King to the chief’s position. They argued that, it wasn’t that they didn’t like Eddlemon, but in all fairness, King should have been hired for the chief’s job. They noted King, who had 25 years of law enforcement experience, had served as assistant chief for eight of the 13 years he was a member of the Gleason Police Department.
Although Officer King had the support of aldermen Jim Phelps and Doug Johnson, they were out-voted 3-2, by Mayor Diane Poole, and aldermen Jerry “Bubba” Dunn and Keith Radford, who voted in favor of hiring Eddlemon.
The result was that Officer King resigned and accepted a job with Dresden Police Department. All of Gleason’s other full-time officers also quit in protest over the board’s decision.
The mood during Thursday night’s meeting was much calmer than it was a month ago.
Chief Eddlemon introduced newly hired Officer Jacob Howington, who recently moved back to Gleason.
Another major topic discussed regarding Gleason Police Department was the need for a computer database system.
(See complete story in the January 16th issue of the Dresden Enterprise.)