New leadership rebuilding morale, operations inside MPD - - The News for South Mississippi

New leadership rebuilding morale, operations inside MPD

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Leaders say morale inside the Montgomery Police Department improved immediately after the split with outgoing Police Chief Kevin Murphy a month ago.

Interim Police Chief John Brown said the split was something that had to happen to keep officers on the force.

"The majors are already feeling more comfortable," Brown said.

MPD leaders say they have implemented changes to rebuild morale and operations inside the department.

Chief of Operations Ron Cook says the department has given everyone including patrol officers a voice.

Most importantly, it has pushed down many management decisions to the precincts, including the implementation of its crime tracking system, Compstat.

Before the change, the directives about how to fight crime, based on the Compstat data, came from the top.

"They are doing it in their precincts by themselves and creating their own plans. Like the South Precinct, it has SPOT: South Precinct On Target," Cooke said. "It looks at upticks in crime, and they have people to go out and that's what their mission is, just to see if they can curb those upticks in crimes."

Brown explains majors are also implementing changes inside their departments and offering officers to work on combined investigations with other divisions.

"This allows the majors that are division commanders who have been selected to lead their divisions to come up with innovative ideas to fight crime," Brown said.

Brown and Cook are working to create a productive work environment.

Cook says its already paying off.

"You've got guys coming in with smiles on their faces chatting about what they are going to do in their precincts they are even getting competitive, saying my precinct is going to be lower than yours this week," Cook said.

As they work to strike the right balance inside headquarters, Public Safety Director Chris Murphy is already receiving internal and external letters, inquires and resumes for the police chief position that will be open in September.

As for the majors and captains that sought early retirement due to a clash in Kevin Murphy's leadership style, Chris Murphy confirmed that more than a half-dozen of those officers have reached back out over the last few weeks with hopes of getting their jobs back.

Kevin Murphy is currently on paid leave and will turn in his official retirement letter in early September, officially leaving MPD at the end of the month.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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