DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Tuesday’s meeting started off with commissioners thanking chief Steven Parrish for his 36 years of service to the Dothan Police Department as he will be retiring at the end of the month.
“It’s been a honor to work with you and I hope you enjoy your retirement and I hope to see you around soon,” Albert Kirkland said.
“Thank you for your professionalism and weathering the storm and inheriting the job that you do,” Beth Kenward said.
After a recent search for the next police chief, the city suggested hiring within nominating Major Will Benny to lead the police force.
“All in favor say yay, any opposed say nay alright congratulations,” Mayor Saliba said in the meeting.
Major Benny is a veteran in law enforcement and has been apart of the Dothan police department for over two decades. He says he’s appreciative to receive such a huge honor and take the reigns over after his mentor next month.
Chief Parrish has been a mentor and great leader for the city of Dothan he has prepared me for this role by placing me as the assistant police chief and putting more and more responsibility on me. I’m ready for the challenge and I fully accept it and hold myself responsible for its success,” Benny said.
Mayor Saliba also expressed excitement for Benny’s new promotion.
“It was a thorough process and we made the decision early on. When leadership changes, you always want to keep maintaining that stability and continuity that’s been going on and we want him to continue with the projects and processes that Chief Parrish put in place,” Mayor Saliba said.
As of now, benny says the department is in a great place so there are not any instant changes in mind when he’s in a new position but community involvement is important to the department.
“Once we get past covid we will redouble our efforts and get involved with the community and laser focus on equitable fair treatment for all of our citizens,” Benny said.
Benny says he has a lot to learn and he’s looking forward to the opportunity. He will be going through some training from Chief Parrish for the rest of the month and that first day will be March 1st.