GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier has a new police chief. City leaders chose 23 year veteran and former traffic division captain Dante Elbin to lead the force and help keep the city safe.
"I remember when I first started as a police man working my way through the ranks, and it is kind of hard to believe I am here," Elbin said.
Chief Elbin began his career in Gautier in the early 1990s. Now, as chief, he wants to increase officer presence by placing mini police stations around town.
"Try to promote substations to the north, so the citizens up there, their response time might be a little bit less than what it is at this point."
Elbin said some of the bigger problems the city is dealing with right now are car and home burglaries. He plans to saturate the neighborhoods with officers to combat those crimes.
"We will look at the stats, and we will look where most of these crimes are taking place at and that is where we will focus at."
Also on the new chief's radar is helping encourage neighborhood watch programs.
"I would like to engage our supervisors and myself to be out there also in the community during these community meetings and get to know who we are actually serving."
Elbin's vision and strong commitment to service is why City Manager Samantha Abell said he was an easy choice for chief.
"Captain Elbin has exemplarily leadership skills, and we are looking for someone who can move the police department forward," Abell said.
Chief Elbin said hopefully with the help of his 53 police officers and 35 reserve officers, Gautier will be a safer place to live, work and play.
The new chief also wants to engage the youth in the community by sponsoring both sports and crime-prevention programs around town.
Elbin is replacing chief Eddie Williams who retired last month due to health issues.