Bye to a friend, hello to a new neighbor

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, February 13, 2002

By Staff
Quietly and without a great deal of fanfare, Atmore said goodbye to its police chief and welcomed in someone to take his place during the search for a permanent chief.
After eight years of serving the city of Atmore in the Police Department as assistant chief and then chief of police, Danny McKinley quietly turned in his resignation as he opted to take a position with the Alabama Attorney General's office.
In no community n Atmore included n can a police satisfy all of the people he represents in upholding and enforcing the laws he is called to enforce. Danny McKinley is no exception to that rule.
But he is a man who has sought to do the best job possible, who has tried to make the community a better place and whose commitment to the city and to his family have remained constant.
And his departure was symbolic of his demeanor and of his handling of the police department here n quiet and steady. While some other police chiefs are in engaging in contests to see their faces on television and read their quotes in the newspaper, McKinley shied away from such displays, opting to handle things in his own quiet and determined way.
And for those reasons and for plenty others, he is a man who will be missed by many as he embarks on the next stage of his career.
We wish McKinley well as he pursues his personal and professional goals and we thank him for his work here.
At the same time, Atmore leaders never skipped a beat as the story unfolded and they scrambled to fill the void left by McKinley's announcement.
After reviewing their options, weighing a couple of choice opportunities and looking to the future, Atmore leaders found their man n for now, anyway n in former Creola and Bay Minette Chief of Police Bruce Lovette.
Lovette brings many years of law enforcement experience to Atmore along with a familiarity of the area and a hefty set of credentials.
His arrival here shortly before McKinley's announcement proved to be the perfect combination of right place and right time as he was asked to step in and take the reigns of the department as the city looks for a permanent replacement.
And as the search escalates, it is plausible to think that Lovette has two things going for him as the city enters the final hours of decision-making regarding who that new permanent chief will be. He is in the right place and he has the right credentials to make the search for and the recruitment of a candidate potentially unnecessary should he prove to be right for the department.
While there is no way to know if this will be the case without knowing what is in the minds of city leaders, we do believe that a potentially potent blend of politics and community volatility may be headed off by the quick and decisive move to put Lovette in charge of the APD as the search for a permanent chief continues.
So as we say goodbye to a friend, we welcome a new friend into our midst. We do so in the hopes that the change will bring one man the professional rewards he seeks while keeping the community under the direction of someone who seeks to protect and nurture it in the months and years ahead.
Thank you, ex-Chief Danny McKinley, for your dedication and your contributions to your community as a leader and as a friend. And thank you, Acting Chief Bruce Lovette for taking the call to serve our community.
We wish you both good luck as you move forward in your lives. God bless you both.

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