Drew hires new police chief
by Paisley Boston
Jan 19, 2014 | 2266 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drew recently hired a new police chief despite recommendations made by the mayor.

Although the Drew Board of Aldermen voted to hire Terry Tyler, Mayor Harvey Burchfield recommended current Lt. Edward Lucas for the position.

According to Drew City Attorney Daniel E. Morris, members of the board decided to hire Tyler based on his qualifications.

Tyler previously served as the police chief in Tutwiler but he was fired in 2012 after a video surfaced purportedly showing members of his staff encouraging a mentally disabled man to eat a mouthful of cinnamon as part of a prank.

In the video, a city worker pours cinnamon down the disabled man's throat.

It did not take long for the man to cough up the cinnamon, as the group roared with laughter.

The man then runs for water and then into the bathroom, where he appears to vomit all while people are laughing.

In a previous interview, Ellis Pittman, attorney for the 18-year-old disabled man, said that the video was taken at city hall by one of the officials in the town of Tutwiler and posted on YouTube.

"I have never seen anything or heard of anything where someone was doing something like this to a mentally challenged person," said Clarksdale attorney Ellis Pittman in a previous interview.

Burchfield was contacted about the hiring of Tyler but did not wish to make a comment.

According to Pittman, Tyler was not charged with any wrong doing because he was not present during the incident.

"We already know how people talk and spread rumors. We all know how mess is traveled," said Tyler.

"I love children and I would never do anything to purposely harm a child.

"For the people who have anything negative to say I advise them to get to know me personally before they try to pass judgment," he added.

"I was raised by a good mother who loved me. She raised me as a father and a mother. I am a man of many trades and I try to be a positive role model in the community. I coach pee–wee sports and I spend a lot of time mentoring children," he continued.

He said that he has been in law enforcement since 2006 and he is the part-time chief of police in Glendora.

He also said that he has very high hopes for Drew.

"Drew has good potential to be a great town. I came here with a vision in mind to be firm in assisting with all of my constituents and I plan to be fair and firm in my decision making," he said.

"I had the opportunity to submit an application in Drew because they had an opening. I am very familiar with Drew because my dad is from Drew. I used to spend a lot of summers in here," he added.

Tyler said he plans to ensure that the police department abides by the rules and regulations set by the state.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to be here. I have been trying to be out and about in the city to make myself known by passing out flyers with my contact information listed on them. I just want to let people know that I am here to protect and serve and I am going to do just that," said Tyler.