Opelika's police chief for the last 22 years, Thomas Mangham, is stepping down at the request of the mayor.
The 65-year-old Mangham has spent 46 years with Opelika Police Department. His retirement is effective March 1.
Mayor Gary Fuller told the Opelika-Auburn News that it was time for new leadership and time to address tremendous turnover in the police department. Fuller said the process of finding a new chief will begin with seeking qualified applicants in the police department. If no candidates are found, then a wider search will begin.
Mangham said the department has grown from 16 officers when he joined to 84 now, and the technology has changed dramatically, including computers in patrol cars and a 911 system that gives GPS locations.
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