Starkville promotes police captain to become new chief

November 9, 2019 GMT

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city has chosen a new police chief from within the ranks of its own police department.

News outlets report that Starkville aldermen have hired Capt. Mark Ballard to be the new chief, starting Jan. 1. He will succeed Chief Frank Nichols, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Ballard has been a Starkville police officer since 1996 and has filled in for Nichols when the current chief has been away.

Ballard is currently the administrative staff commander and head of investigations. He was previously a drug court law enforcement representative and Mississippi Homeland Security information liaison officer.

After aldermen approved his promotion Tuesday, Ballard said he wants to develop a police reserve force to help give fulltime officers better balance between work and their personal lives.