By Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2020

CENTERVILLE, Ga. (AP) - One small city in central Georgia is having a hard time keeping a police chief.

The Houston County Sherriff’s Office has been helping run the police department in Centerville, a city of fewer than 8,000 people, while the mayor and city council work to hire their fourth police chief in five years.

Chief Chuck Hadden retired in November and the two chiefs who had the job before him left the department in 2015 and 2016, WMAZ-TV reported.

Sheriff’s Capt. Ricky Harlowe has been overseeing the police department under an agreement with city officials that’s expected to be extended next week. Harlowe said the hiring of two new officers and promotions of two others have improved morale.

“We’re here to just bring stability to the officers, like I said before, and we’re trying to make a better environment for them,” Harlowe said.

Centerville officials have enlisted the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police to help evaluate candidates to fill the police chief’s job.

At a meeting Dec. 1, city Councilman Cameron Andrews said that Centerville “has a stellar record of our past chiefs.”

He added: “Yes, that was sarcastic.”

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