The city announced Phil Smith, center, as chief of police Thursday. Smith posed with City Manager Larry Fry, left, and Mayor Del Jurney at the press conference. (Courtesy Photo)
City Manager Larry Fry named Phil Smith as the new chief of the Roswell Police Department, Thursday. He admitted that it had been a tough choice.
“We had many fine candidates. We appreciate the support our police give to the community and how they go selflessly around the city to protect us.”
Fry complimented Deputy Chief Brad McFadin and his work as acting chief during the interim period since Chief Al Solis retired.
Mayor Del Jurney said: “This is a difficult position to fill. …We had people apply from out of state and we had two men left standing at the end of process and both were from the police department.”
“It is a privilege to be taking over an agency that is filled to the roof with talent,” said Smith.
He promised to use “the talent we have” and said working at the police department was a collaborative effort.
Smith said one of his goals was to have Roswell recognized as the best police agency in the state. He also wanted to reassure the community that Roswell was a safe place to live.
“If you are not involved in crime, you are safe.”
He also noted that crime is not unique to Roswell, but is nationwide problem. He linked the increase in crime to the economy. “We have 7.4 to 7.5 percent unemployed and that is not indicative of the number of unemployed. It only counts those who are in the system.”
City Councilor Steve Henderson congratulated the new chief for himself and other members of the council.
Dorrie Faubus-McCarty of Roswell’s Chamber of Commerce added her congratulations to those of the council and noted that it has been hard to recruit new businesses to Roswell because of the crime rate.
Smith placed attracting new businesses and quality of life for all the citizens as part of his long-term plan. He said that he, as a transplant from the East, was impressed with Roswell and with members of the police department, who exhibit a passion for their jobs.