HAMILTON, Ga. (AP) — A new police chief is on the job in a Georgia town where the former chief resigned earlier this year after video showed the chief and an officer making racist comments before a Black Lives Matter march.
Eric Weiss was sworn in Monday as chief in Hamilton, a small town north of Columbus. City officials announced his appointment on March 29, after former Chief Gene Allmond resigned in January because of the body camera footage recorded before a June march that a part-time city employee discovered and showed to officials.
“As a police department, we have a very unique opportunity to facilitate healing in the community and positive growth in the community,” Weiss told WRBL-TV, saying he intends to emphasize training, professionalism and ethics.
Weiss worked for the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office and as a drug task force agent earlier.
The new chief took part in an open house after officially taking office, part of his effort to reach out to community members.
“I think he is a wonderful guy and is doing a good job. I think he is the man for the job,” said Jerry Carter, a local resident.
“I want the citizens to let us know what we’re doing well, what we need to improve on, and we’re going to listen to the citizens, because at the end of the day the police department's job is to serve the citizens of this community,” Weiss said.
Hamilton Mayor Pro Tem Ransom Farley, who was the official shown the video by the employee, told WTVM-TV that he hopes Weiss will be able to unify the town.
“These last three months has been long and tedious because we had to winnow it down from 19 candidates,” Farley said.