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Steven Reed names new interim police chief, public safety advisor amid Montgomery crime chaos

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed announced two appointments Tuesday in an attempt to address compounding crises that have gripped the attention of residents, many of which are demanding action. Reed named Jim Grayboys as interim Chief of Police and Lawrence Battiste IV as a public safety advisor to the city.

Reed introduced Graboys as a 20-year veteran of the Montgomery Police Department, and more recently, police chief for Alabama State University and a senior compliance specialist for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). Reed thanked outgoing interim chief John Hall, whose tenure since April overlapped with a continued increase in property and violent crime, capped off with a mass shooting that left the city shaken.

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“I love this town. I love the police department. The men and the women there ever since I first started, have done everything they could to sacrifice and work for the welfare of the people in the city,” interim police chief Jim Grayboys said. “To accept this, I vow I’m going to do everything within my power and everything within my ability to leave no stone unturned to marshal every resource available, to go after these offenders to go after people who want to make you unsafe.”

“Because any of these problems — whether crime is up or whether it’s down — one crime is too many,” he said.

Reed also named Lawrence Battiste IV, a decorated law enforcement professional from Mobile, as his public safety advisor. Battiste is a former narcotics officer, major crimes unit detective, and juvenile probation officer before subsequently serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Prichard and later as Chief of Police for the City of Mobile in 2017.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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