Oxford elevates interim chief to lead police department

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - A north Mississippi city is giving its interim police chief the permanent job.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill says Jeff McCutchen will lead the police department beginning in January. Current chief Joey East took a leave of absence to run for Lafayette County sheriff. He won election and will take office in January. East's father, Buddy East, was sheriff from 1972 until his death in September 2018.

Tannehill tells The Oxford Eagle McCutchen has "basically had a 10-month job interview" while serving as interim chief. The decision was announced Tuesday after McCutchen met privately Monday with Tannehill and aldermen. Joey East has been chief for six years and worked for the Oxford department for 24 years. McCutchen has held a series of Oxford police jobs, serving as operations major since 2014.