Many times people and government have a tendency to drag things out longer than is needed.
When the Wooodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen meet Tuesday night at City Hall, it should speed up the process with respect to one matter that is in limbo.
After Tony Burnett decided to leave the position of Woodbury Police Chief in March to take a position with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, his Assistant Police Chief, Kevin Mooneyham, was named by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen as interim chief.
The Board decided to delay naming a permanent successor for Burnett for six months.
Tuesday night, it should name Mooneyham as Woodbury’s Chief of Police without further delay.
There are a number of reasons I urge the Board to do so:
• From everything I have witnessed, there has been a seamless transition of leadership from Burnett to Mooneyham. Not to slight the former chief in any way, but in terms of the operation of the police department, I have barely noticed he is no longer in charge.
To me that’s a good thing, the way it should be, and I think Burnett would agree.
• As first a patrolman, then sergeant, assistant chief and now interim chief, Mooneyham has demonstrated he is the epitome of what a law enforcement officer should be – a tireless, dedicated, caring public servant, willing to put his life on the line at a moment’s notice to protect his fellow citizens and the community.
• In addition to working in law enforcement, Mooneyham serves Woodbury and Cannon County in many other ways, including as a county commissioner, EMT and 911 dispatcher.
• He has a good rapport with citizens of Woodbury and Cannon County, and with other law enforcement officers and agencies, both inside and outside the county.
• As long as the town does not have a permanent police chief, the department is short one officer. Right now Mooneyham is filling two roles, one as interim chief and another as patrolman. Crime fighting is a 24-hour-a-day activity in Woodbury. Our weekly court dockets show crime to be an increasing problem. The town can’t afford to be one officer short at any time.
With all due respect to anyone else interested in the position, there is no longer any need for the Board to continue to leave the job of police chief open. They won’t find anyone better for it than Kevin Mooneyham.