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Columbus City Council names Carleton as Interim Chief


Tony Carleton

Tony Carleton



Sarah Fowler



The Columbus Police Department has an interim chief. 


In a unanimous vote, the Columbus City Council put Tony Carleton into the position during a specially called meeting Wednesday morning. 


Former chief Selvain McQueen retired earlier this month after serving as chief for less than three years. He earned $70,000 a year in the position. 


Assistant Chief Joe Johnson has been in charge of the department since McQueen's departure. 


Carleton, an 18-year law enforcement veteran, has served as assistant chief with CPD since he was hired in November. Before his hiring, he served as chief of police in Tupelo. He resigned from that position to come to Columbus.  


He was earning $65,000 as assistant chief. He will earn $67,500 as interim. 


A graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy, Carleton has a bachelor's degree in public administration with an emphasis in criminal justice from the University of Mississippi. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in November. 


Mayor Robert Smith said he hopes the city will have a permanent chief in the next 30 days.  


The city will do an in-house search for the new chief with current CPD personnel having five working days to apply. A committee made up of Smith, Human Resources Director Pat Mitchell, Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong, and councilmen Joseph Mickens and Bill Gavin will vet the applicants. 


Smith declined to say why they choose Carleton as interim. The decision is effective immediately.


Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.



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