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Reese sworn in as Demopolis police chief

Tommie Reese was officially sworn in as police chief for the City of Demopolis by Marengo County District Judge Wade Drinkard on Tuesday.

Reese is the city’s first full-time police chief since public safety director Jeff Manuel resigned in June 2008.

Reese was sworn in as part of a festive ceremony at Rooster Hall. Toney Nixon played saxophone and keyboards, and pastor Timothy Page of Moscow Baptist Church opened the program with the National Anthem. JoAnn Webster King also sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee” during the program.

“What we got out of Tommie Reese was that we got a commitment to excellence and a man of faith,” said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson. “When a person commits to excellence and is willing to do what it takes to be the best, then it’s hard to hold that person back. They are going to move ahead, and if we’re not moving ahead, we’re lagging behind.”

Reese had his badge pinned onto his uniform by his father, Willie Reese.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to stand before you in my hometown,” Tommie Reese said. “I am truly honored to be able to lead such a fine group of men and women of the Demopolis Police Department. We understand that crime is on the rise — we know that the economy is down right now — but we are going to do our best to make Demopolis a safe place. If it takes us night and day, we’re going to do that.”

Reese takes the leadership role of the Demopolis Police Department from interim chief Tim Williams, who was named to that position upon Manuel’s retirement. In June, the Demopolis City Council decided to name an interim chief and wait until after the council was seated in November to name a new chief.