The choice for Meridian's new assistant chief of police was Keith McCary, 41, captain of the department's Training Division since 1995.
"I am appointing Keith McCary, a 22-year veteran of the Meridian Police Department as the new assistant chief of the Meridian Police Department," said Mayor John Robert Smith.
The recommendation was made by Chief of Police Benny Dubose.
"Not only because he's my friend but because he's a fine officer," said Chief Dubose. "He is what you would expect from a police officer. He's officer-friendly. He's officer-professional."
The room was filled with McCary's family and friends.
"I couldn't have done this without the support of my family," said McCary. "They've been there through the long hours, long nights."
He also paid tribute to the city and its officials.
"The city has groomed me for this position through the training and experience I've had to the streets," said the new assistant chief. "Also the contact with the citizens that I've dealt with the past 22 years."
But he also mentioned the department's needs as he sees them.
"We definitely need to have nine officers back on the streets to fill those slots," said McCary. "We need walkie talkies to replace the ones we've got that are irreparable, antiquated. And we need vehicles to patrol the streets in that are safe and operational so that officers can get to the scene of a call for help."