A change of command is underway for the Wiggins Police Department with the swearing in of a new leadership team today.
Wiggins police officers now have a new leader. “It’s truly an honor to hold this position that I just got put in today.”
In front of fellow police officers, family, and friends, Jeff Thomas took the oath of office as the city’s next chief of police, replacing retiring Chief Matt Barnett. As the department’s deputy chief for the past 11 years, Thomas says the transition into this new role has been smooth. “Over the last month, Chief Barnett’s been great in preparing me for things that I didn’t do on a daily basis as the deputy chief.”
New Deputy Chief Tim Hill is excited to serve with the man who served as his police academy instructor over a decade ago. “He’s been my mentor for a while, since I’ve been here basically, and once I retired out of the Marine Corps, he brought me on and treated me as if I was his son.”
As Thomas enters this role amid continued concerns over COVID-19, public health and safety will be a major priority. “To, you know, promote a positive image on wearing our masks and doing the right thing in the community during this time.”
While they say no drastic changes will be made to department operation, the new leadership hopes to engage in more community outreach and continue a positive workplace culture. “Continue our training, continue seeking out grants, to improve our equipment and so forth like that, and retention of officers.”
“We’re looking at doubling the load that we did last year. We got some mentor groups coming in for the kids, it’s just, it’s a lot.”