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Manuel to remain in role as police chief for now

For now, there is no search for a new police chief in the City of Demopolis. Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said Thursday the city is currently not looking.

Acting Police Chief Jeff Manuel, who took over when former Chief Charles Avery retired, will continue in his duties.

Avery spent his final day as police chief on Friday Nov. 15 of 2003 at which time Manuel took over as acting chief. He has served in that capacity ever since.

Avery had been with the force since 1970 and had served as chief from 1982 until his retirement.

Manuel also serves as the city’s Director of Public Safety. His primary duties in that capacity consist of administration and budgeting duties.

When the search began in Nov. of 2003 Manuel was expected to help head the search committee for a new chief, however, with Mayor Austin Caldwell not seeking reelection all parties agreed it would be best not to appoint a new chief during a change in administration.

The major fear was that a newly appointed chief might be replaced when a new administration took office.

A formal search for the new chief began in May of 2004 with the city elections taking place in August.