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|Ferriday, Vidalia police chiefs revamping departments|
The new police chiefs in Ferriday and Vidalia have begun the process of reorganizing their departments.
Ferriday Police Chief Kenneth Hedrick and Vidalia Police Chief Ronnie "Tapper" Hendricks hit the ground running last week as both men are continue their efforts to make a smooth transition into their new jobs.
Hedrick kept three patrolman and named Johnny Evans as his investigator, while former interim police chief Margaret Lawrence is assisting in the office.
"We have three new officers who just started and I am looking at a couple of more," Hedrick said. "Right now I am busy checking with people and going around to businesses, seeing the needs of the people and how we can improve things around here. I want people coming through Ferriday to come back. I'm looking forward to talking and visiting with all the citizens."
Hedrick said he has not assigned ranking to his officers at this time.
"We're still evaluating things around here and seeing who is qualified to do this or that," he said.
Hedrick also brought back dispatcher Roy Wilson.
"I'm glad to have somebody with his experience and knowledge," he said.
In Vidalia, Tapper Hendricks announced earlier that Arthur Lewis is his assistant police chief.
Drew Harrison and Sammy Jackson are investigators, while Toxie Burnett is the animal control officer.
Sgt. Charlie Ferguson is over auxiliary officers," said Hendricks. "Sgt. Ronnie Wedgeworth and Lt. Terrence Williams are other ranked officers."
"And I'm proud to say that for the first time Vidalia will have a post-certified school resource officer," Hendricks said, referring to Beverly Metcalf. "She is going to be at all the schools and will have some help in the future."
Lydia Hude is supervisor of dispatchers, Gail Cowan is in charge of writing grants and Meri Gray is the administrative assistant.
Hendricks said he will always have an open door policy.
"Right now the office is being painted, so I have had to talk to some people in the hall," he said. "The department is getting a facelift and cleaning up. We're adapting to each other. There is a lot going on and everyone is working well together."
He said he was "proud of the people, proud of the department, proud to be part of the community and proud to be Vidalia's Chief of Police. I'll be meeting with our staff each week and they will keep me abreast of what is going on. I'm looking forward to meeting with the people and finding out what we can do to better serve them."
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