Freddie Davis named new police chief of Latta

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - Latta's new Police Chief is talking about the controversy surrounding his new position.

The story broke in April when the town's former Police Chief, Crystal Moore said she was wrongfully terminated. Read more, here.

"I'm here for Latta. I'm not here for what's going on in Latta," Latta Police Chief Freddie Davis, said.

Newly appointed Latta Police Chief Freddie Davis says he's thrilled about his new job, and has no opinion concerning the controversy currently hanging over Latta.

"The chief that was here before I… she probably is a wonderful person. I don't know I haven't had a chance to meet her. I hope I get the chance to meet her," Latta Police Chief Freddie Davis said.

"I have no hard feelings towards the mayor or the new officer. I'm confused as to why this gentleman - I understand he's from Florence - and the mayor, at 9:30 this morning announces that he hired him as police chief," Former Latta Police Chief Crystal Moore, said.

"The contract was signed between the town and Freddie on the 23rd day of this month," Latta Mayor Earl Bullard.

Latta Mayor Earl Bullard said he had been searching for a new police chief since April, when Crystal Moore was fired for not signing off on seven reprimands.

Moore's termination was not supported by town council members but because the mayor holds more power than the council nothing could be done to reverse his decision.

But council members did find a way to take power away from the mayor.

On Tuesday, a referendum vote changed the town's form government, taking hiring and firing power from the mayor and giving it to council, but that vote won't be verified until Friday, which means the new system isn't in place yet and Bullard still has that power.

"The citizens spoke up and they wanted to change the form of government and I was basically hired back because council already said they were doing to hire me back," Moore said.

New Chief Freddie Davis said he's here because he feels the chief position is the right step for him at this time.

"Earlier I stated, that the wife and I prayed about it and that's the reason I'm here. If it's the will of the Lord for me to move on and her get her job back then that's what will happen," Davis said.

WMBF News asked Mayor Bullard how Davis's employment will be affected once the town council holds more power than him.

"The way Freddie was hired it shouldn't have any impact on him at all," Bullard said.

Bullard said that's because of this clause in Davis's contract.

"If the town of Latta changes the form of government and another person is hired or selected as Chief of Police, the employee as named in this contract shall be entitled to continue employment at the contacted rate of compensation."

The new chief officially starts working on July 1st.

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