Cottonwood Shores halts police chief application process

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

COTTONWOOD SHORES — Officials say they will consider promoting the current acting Cottonwood Shores police chief to the lead law officer position for the community and forego an applicant search.

Lt. Chris Bieze has served as acting chief since the council put former Chief Tom Williams on administrative leave in April.

Williams later resigned over an investigation into a disturbance in which he was involved with a woman at a local hotel.

He eventually surrendered his peace officer license to avoid criminal action, and the city appointed Bieze as interim chief, the second time he has held the position.

“The council pretty much decided we should just promote internally,” Mayor Donald Orr said of discussions during the June 4 council meeting. “He’s proven himself to be able to handle that position.”

Cottonwood Shores City Council is expected to vote to approve Bieze’s promotion recommendation during its upcoming meeting 6 p.m. June 18 at city hall, 3808 Cottonwood Drive.

For now, Bieze is considered the “sole candidate” for the position. If approved, city officials will fill his current position.

“We will go out and post the job application for a patrolman, not necessarily a lieutenant,” Orr said. “It’s a good decision. We’re looking forward to it. We need to get a full staff in the police department.”

Cottonwood Shores Police Department currently has two full-time officers and is budgeted for three, including the police chief.

connie@thepicayune.com

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