Abbeville names new police chief after nine months


ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — Abbeville held its council meeting Tuesday night and the most exciting item on the agenda was who will be the new man in charge of the police department.

After the termination of Noel Vanlandingham in April of last year, Sergeant James Bradley stepped in as the interim police chief until a new one was assigned. The city interviewed a couple of quality candidates.

“Uh, we interviewed six good candidates but unfortunately you can’t choose but one,” Mayor Jimmy Money said.

Nine months later and after the council went into executive session to talk their decision over, Eric Blankenship was named the new police chief of Abbeville. Blankenship worked with the Henry County Sheriffs department for 11 years and he’s thrilled for an opportunity to oversee the department.

“Whenever I applied for this I went to the sheriffs first and told him my plan so I had his support I wasn’t leaving on any bad terms or anything else so I look forward to building that relationship back with us working back with the Sherriffs office also working with the other surrounding municipalities,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship says the main goal at the moment is to make sure shifts are covered and Abbeville citizens are protected. As for the future, he wants to bring some top-notch training to the police force.

“I believe fully that officers fall back to is a level of training in a critical incident so I’m looking to bring a well-structured training program back to the department to get everybody back to a real active training,” He said.

Mayor Money says it was an easy decision to go with Blankenship since he’s a local guy, knows the law and he brings togetherness to the community which Mayor Money views as an asset.

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