With the uncertainty of who will be in the mayor’s office eliminated, Booneville Police Chief Rusty Lewis last week announced a staff addition and a promotion.
The promotion was largely expected as Ben Villarreal, who currently holds the position of sergeant, is now the department’s criminal investigator, with the rank of lieutenant, Lewis said last week.
Lewis held the position of CID and lieutenant before taking over as police chief when Al Brown left the department to become an investigator with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department.
In November Lewis said he had been working as both chief and investigator while awaiting the outcome of the mayor’s race, which incumbent Jerry Wilkins won in a runoff over Aaron Brewer on Dec. 6.
Lewis said then he did not want to move Villarreal into the investigator role because it would leave the patrol division shorthanded, especially with another officer having tendered his resignation.
Effective Jan. 1, Heath Chambers will no longer be with the department. He is leaving to take a role with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department. Chambers was an LCSO deputy before coming to the BPD.
Chambers is being replaced by a familiar face as Robert Jones will be moving from a part time/dispatcher position to full time Lewis said last week. Jones, who has been with the BPD for three years, will be attending the police academy next year.
Lewis also said Kevin Kibrell will be returning to the department after the first of the year. Kimbrell was with the BPD before leaving to be a chief deputy in the sheriff’s department and later moving to the county road department.