Washington Names Interim Police, Fire Director

The City of Washington has a new man overseeing its police and fire departments and WITN has learned there are plans to consolidate other city departments as well.

Stacy Drakeford as the Interim Police and Fire Services Director.

The move is part of the city's three year plan to combine the two departments.

According to City Manager Joshua Kay, Drakeford will oversee the police department, meaning no police chief will be named and the current Interim Police Chief, Sandy Blizzard will return his Deputy Chief status. Fire chief Robbie Rose will remain in his current position.

Kay says they are trying out this new system to combine support services for the police and fire departments on an trial basis for the next 12-18 months.

Apparently this is not the only city department Washington plans to combine. City councilman William Pitt says over the next three years the city will cut the number of departments in half to four through consolidation.

Pitt tells WITN News they hope to eliminate some 40 positions through the move, 80% of those through retirement. Pitt says not only will it save the city money, but make city government more efficient.

According to the press release, Drakeford, a recent retiree from South Carolina, has over twenty-five years of experience in law enforcement and fire services.

Most recently Drakeford served as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Clinton, South Carolina. Prior to his tenure in Clinton, he served for eighteen years with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division working through the ranks to the post of Assistant Director.

Drakeford holds a Bachelor of Science from Presbyterian College, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University.

Drakeford is a graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, the Federal Emergency Management Institute Professional Development Program, and the Rural Executive Management Institute.

He is also a graduate of the Fire and Rescue Management Institute at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, holds the National Firefighter Level 2 designation, and has attended numerous National Fire Academy courses.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Troy J Landry Location: Washington Bayou on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM
    Fire Department was running so good when Jimmy Davis was the chief! Atleast he did leave Lt Doug Davis Bissette to carry in the legacy. One thing about Jimmy, he had a backbone and stood up for the department as a whole. Hopefully the new "director" will see who is in need of demoting or reassigning. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, its probably a duck just saying!!
  • by Keith Location: Washington on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:48 PM
    Just reading some of the comments here I have a few thoughts: 1)Shame on WITN for letting anonymouse posts to name names and malign people. It it was me, you would have a lawsuit coming your way befor the sun set tommorrow. 2) It is obvious that alot of these comments are being made by people who work at the fire dept. Chief, can you not control your organization. This sort of total loss of control and extreme lack of discipline and character of the people who work there stems from the top down. If known, and I sure they wont be since the hide behind a chat room, should be fired on the spot. 3) the comments here speak to the need for strong realignment of the fire dept and the installation of discipline you expect of a service organization. 4) If I worked at the fire dept and pocessed any integrity or character at all, I would be looking another place to go to work. 5)to the people named in these comments, whoever you are... dont let idots randaom comments worry you...they are just compensating for thier own shortcomings...God bless all of you, you need it!!
    • reply
      by Frank Sinatra on Mar 9, 2012 at 12:04 AM in reply to Keith
      How do we know your really named Keith? What would you sue for? You have to show that an untruth was told. Lack of control? Have you ever heard of this thing we call free speech? Fired on the spot? As a city employee there are certain procedures that have to be followed but I am guessing with your god complex you are above those. And keep your blessing it is apparent you have no idea who god is.
  • by Bob Location: Pinetown on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:14 PM
    When will you Washington folks learn? The corrupt city leadership has hired another lackey to do their bidding and the citizens will pay. The "leadership" is bring in their cronies from South Carolina. It's a conspiracy. What other "South Carolina" connections are there in town? From the PD to the hospital, they are all out to get us!!!!!
  • by Just Wondering Location: Chocowinity on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    Why is everyone so down on getting rid of Amber's position? If anything why don't people start asking the question of why we have a Finance Director (Matt), a Assistant Finance Director (Anita) and then Anita has her "helper" Tammy. Seriously, what's the purpose of that? Just wondering why Council, The Mayor, and Manager are wanting to cut positions in the Fire Department when there are lots of other depatments that need to be cleaned up first.
  • by Did you ever think Location: washington on Mar 5, 2012 at 08:49 AM
    Did you ever think that maybe the city manager hired "his friend" because he needed someone on staff who he could fully trust? Everyone in this town is so negative and critical. Drakeford is more than qualified for this job. It's a shame all of you are not even giving him a chance. And this community desperately needs an African American in a leadership role like this. If you think you can do a better job running the city, then why don't you apply when the position comes open again? Go talk to the CM and share your ideas instead of hiding behind a computer. Imagine what a great community this could be if we worked together.
    • reply
      by Incorrect on Mar 5, 2012 at 09:33 AM in reply to Did you ever think
      Sir, with all due respect, I call your attention to the previous Greenville Chief of Police. He was Black, and Chief Reed of Washington was White. Both were run off by their City Councils for being Outstanding Police Chief's that wanted to enfoce the law and prevent crime but were not supported by the City Leaders. Lets leave race out of this forum! What this community needs is a bigger police department to protect us from the gangs, drug dealers, and other assorted criminals that coming into our town.
    • reply
      by Very Incorrect on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:03 AM in reply to Did you ever think
      I would also like to add that Chief Reed had a lot of support within the African America community in Washington. It's not about what race can do the best job, but what PERSON can. Chief Reed refused to bow down to the city manager, so he brought in someone who would.
      • reply
        by Actually on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM in reply to Very Incorrect
        As an African American female, I can tell you that we are excited about this man coming to Washington. We may change our minds after a year but at least we are willing to give him a chance. And a bigger police deparment isn't the answer. Crime won't decrease until people take more pride in themselves and their community and learn to respect each other.
        • reply
          by Agree on Mar 5, 2012 at 12:23 PM in reply to Actually
          I agree with Actually about the people taking pride in themselves. Excellent in theory but does not work in real life. Example: take all the highway patrol off of the road and see how people drive. Our problem is that too many of our children have no role models to look up to and teach them to respect anything these days. Drug use is out of control with no end in sight and everyone wants the Govt. to give them something for free.
        • reply
          by Actually... on Mar 5, 2012 at 02:33 PM in reply to Actually
          Actually... you don't speak for all African American women, or even all African Americans for that matter. Your opinion is important, but I would ask that you replace the "we are excited" with "I am excited".
  • by Right On Target on Mar 5, 2012 at 05:31 AM
    "me" has it right on voting them out, however with the current system of electing city council members it will never happen. If we had a council person representing a specific area we could hold that person accountable for their actions. It only takes about five to six hundred votes to get elected. Where are the other 9,500 or so citizens of our city? Incidently, when will the city council give us the result of the "brand study" and if its OK to feed the cats, who do I go to see about a permit to feed the Sea Gulls?
  • by me Location: Washington on Mar 5, 2012 at 04:21 AM
    Everyone needs to remember this when voting time comes around again. This entire city council must go. This mayor must go. Come on citizens of Washington take pride in your community and run for office and replace ALL of these people.
    • reply
      by Lou Kin Baque on Mar 14, 2012 at 05:31 AM in reply to me
      I agree. But it is sad that Washington will be at a point of no return by then. This City Manager and his "friend" will tear down the Police Dept and turn law enforcement over to the devil (Alan Jordan @ BCSO). We will have to set back and watch our crime rates go up, watch our kids turn to drugs, watch our tax money get flushed down the drain. The city should go ahead and write their own Obit for the paper - its coming.
  • by More of the same on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:51 PM
    Now everyone ask yourself; is it a coincidence that Chief Reed refused to be a yes man and a part of the "good ole boy system" and he is out of the blue reigning (with no reports of another job and only a few months from when he could retire) and before the chief's last day the CM announces his friend is coming to take over?? Chief Reed was screwed over... and now Washington will be too.
  • by Wondering? on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:37 PM
    Was it this big of deal when Mickey came to town? I know that he was hired only as PC. But this is ridiculous, this man isn't even here yet. People need to get a grip.
  • by duhhh Location: washington on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:32 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by Look at that! on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:42 PM in reply to duhhh
      Talk about nonsense. If you don't know someone you don't need to talk.

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