A former warden of Delta Correctional Facility has been chosen as Greenwood’s next chief of police.
During its Tuesday meeting, the City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Jody Bradley at the recommendation of Mayor Carolyn McAdams.
Bradley, 71, will replace Ray Moore on Dec. 2.
“I’m always open-minded, and I will be open door,” Bradley said. “My phone will not ‘not answer,’ plain and simple. ... I’d like a chance to help and keep moving.”
A native of Wilkinson County, Bradley has had extensive experience as a prison warden, including serving in that capacity at Delta Correctional from April 2004 to May 2005. McAdams worked for a time at Delta Correctional as a financial manager, and Bradley said he’s known her for a number of years.
McAdams said that the search for a police chief was not opened to applicants within the department because she wanted a “fresh face” with no ties to the department. McAdams also said that Bradley’s willingness to attend the state’s police academy for his required training reinforces his willingness to serve.
Bradley retired in January after serving as warden of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility for more than three years.
Over the summer, The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news publication that covers the U.S. criminal justice system, published an article alleging that Bradley allowed gangs to control the facility due to a shortage of guards.
The Marshall Project used an internal audit produced by Management & Training Corp., the prison’s privately owned operator, as the basis for its reporting.
The Marshall Project reported that Bradley, according to the audit, spoke with gang leaders to have them control their men. If they were not controlled, Bradley would place the facility on lockdown, the article said.
Bradley declined to comment for The Marshall Project’s article.
Moore, 63, who was appointed police chief in May 2014 after more than 17 years with the department, also spoke to the council.
“Last year I had a serious medical issue,” he said, referring to the stroke he suffered in late October, which put him out of the office for several months.
Although he was able to recuperate well enough to resume his role in January, he said Tuesday that he still has “a ways to go” in his recovery.
“I’ve done a lot of praying and a lot of truly being honest with myself, and I know that I am unable to continue to serve the people of this great city as their chief of police at the capacity I feel they deserve,” he said.
Moore added, “It’s hard to walk away from a profession that you’ve dedicated half your life to.”
The mayor, council members and other attendees gave Moore a standing ovation.
In other business:
• Dr. Jim Phillips, pastor of North Greenwood Baptist Church, spoke to the council about his effort to have a 120-foot steel cross erected along the U.S. 82 and U.S. 49 intersection, just west of town. The project, which is headed under the nonprofit Delta Cross, is expected to cost about $200,000.
Phillips said he was there not to ask the city for money — “I don’t think that would be appropriate,” he said — but to raise awareness about the project.
Ward 4’s Charles McCoy said he’ll make a personal donation to the project and then asked McAdams if it’s possible for the city to make a donation.
The mayor said that Don Brock, the city’s attorney, will look into the matter.
• The council approved a $4,000 donation to the Greenwood Community Center, a nonprofit that aims to provide a variety of services following the renovation of its building at 709 Ave. I.
• Lts. Jason and Keisha McMullin of The Salvation Army stopped by the meeting with a red kettle in tow to collect donations from council members.
Last week, Ward 1’s Johnny Jennings, with the prodding of Market Place manager Derrick Simpson, invited the McMullins to swing by the council meeting.
Council members McCoy and David Jordan made donations.
Greenwood’s Salvation Army is attempting to collect $80,000 in donations during the holiday season.
• The council reconfirmed the following members to the Greenwood Tourism Commission: Toni Powers, Ward 1; Tim Tyler, Ward 2; Ulysses Carl Cates, Ward 3; Lizzier King, Ward 4; Cyndi Long, Ward 5. Their terms will expire Dec. 31, 2020.
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.