WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The Waveland Police Department has a new chief Wednesday morning. Veteran officer David Allen was appointed to the position by city aldermen during a board meeting that went late into Tuesday night. The board confirmed Allen in a two to two vote, with the mayor breaking the tie.
David Allen was a sheriff's deputy in Arizona before coming to Waveland as patrolman 16 years ago. He's been an investigator, the head of Waveland's cyber crime unit and even served as acting chief for a time.
"I've been here, I've put a lot in this, I've done a lot for this department over the years and I'm happy to see that they are rewarding that," said Allen.
Allen said job number one will be rebuilding the public's confidence in the department. He knows lawsuits alleging excessive force by some officers, left many with a bad impression of Waveland Police.
"I think Kenny Hurt has done an excellent job of helping to turn around the culture of the department. We've got a new direction. We've got a new energy."
"The thing I'm looking forward to is raising the bar for our police officers. That goes on many levels. Raising the bar on how we speak to people. We're raising the bar on how we investigate crimes, and raising the bar on how we follow up on calls," explained Allen.
The new chief will oversee a staff of 16. He'd like to see that number grow in the near future.
"First, I'd like to see more people on the road. That's always a plus. I know the city is coming out of a tight budget, so that may not happen immediately, but that's where we need to be focusing on."
The new chief also plans to keep technology working in his favor, including social media like the department's Facebook page.
Allen will be sworn in as chief on June 24th. He will replace Chief Kenny Hurt who is retiring after a long career in law enforcement.