New Gautier Police Chief Looks To The Future

After serving as Gautier's interim police chief for the past 10 months, Ed Williams got word by phone a week ago that the job was now his full time.

"I received notice from the City Manager that she had made a decision and appointed me Chief of Police," says Williams.

It's not exactly the kind of fanfare associated with such important decisions.

"I left Thursday evening and I went home," says Williams. "I came back to work Monday morning, and the same as usual, just steady working."

But that pretty much sums up the management style of this 20 year veteran of the Gautier Police Department.

"Just to keep everybody going like they're doing. I've got a good bunch of officers here, a good bunch of support staff."

A staff that Williams says, like the city, has room to grow.

"We've got three in the Academy right now that are getting out, and I'll have three more going at the next academy. And that will bring us up to what we were when the hurricane struck. "

Hurricane Katrina sparked a jump in population for a city that's tripled in size in recent years through annexation. That will require Williams' department to keep growing to keep up.

"It's something you can't do overnight. We'll plan it out over the next few years and we'll be at the level we need to be shortly."

Problems that this newest South Mississippi police chief recognizes he shares with his counter parts on the coast.

"Now I'm constantly using my brain and my pen where I used to use a patrol car and a ticket book."

But Williams says he's confident that job one has already been done.

"Our main goal is to keep working, and we're going to support each other and get out here and defend the city and do our job."

The Gautier Police Department is currently made up of 32 officers, six detectives and two narcotics officers.