AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Amory Police Chief Ronnie Bowen said he didn't see this coming.
Aldermen voted 4-1 Tuesday to make his job an appointed one instead of an elected one.
"They felt the timing was crucial, so they're free to make whatever motion and votes that they want to make, and that was done," Mayor Howard Boozer said.
The change takes effect July 1 of next year.
Alderman Tommy Wilkerson said the board felt the change was needed to gain more control over management and expenses of the department. He said other factors were involved that he cannot discuss.
Bowen said he would like to know what those factors are, but as of Thursday afternoon, he had yet to be officially informed of the board's decision.
"I've been in the office all day yesterday and all day today, and I still haven't received a call, and I haven't received a letter," Chief Bowen said.
A random survey of citizens indicated there is opposition to the board's decision.
"I would assume it would be an elected position. I don't believe it should be one that is decided for you," Missy Box said.
"I think we should have a choice to vote on who we want instead of being appointed," Joann Tubb said.
"It's the people's choice to ask who is gonna represent them. I think they should be elected by the people," James Dean said.
Boozer said of the 272 cities in the state, only 11 still have an elected police chief.
In nearby Aberdeen, city officials there are working to change the police chief position to an appointed one.
The situation there differs from Amory in that a change to Aberdeen's city charter requires approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and from the state.