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Big leadership changes at Mobile Police Department

After 29 years on the force Mobile Police Chief James Barber will now be Mobile's Public Safety Director.

Barber will be responsible for the city's police, fire-rescue department, safety and performance department, and animal control.

In a statement Barber said "The fundamental purpose of government is the safety of the public. Failure to provide for this fundamental purpose is not an option. I am both humbled and honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring this basic obligation is fulfilled."

Assistant Chief Lawrence Battiste will move up and take Barber's spot as police chief. Since 2015 Battiste served as assistant chief. Before that he was Prichard's police chief.

In a statement Battiste said "I am extremely honored to have been asked to serve as the next chief of police for the city of Mobile. I look forward to continuing the vision of mayor Stimpson and chief Barber in making Mobile the safest city in America with respect for everyone."

The moves come after Public Safety Director Rich Landolt resigned. The release says he's leaving to go into the national security field.

In a statement, Mayor Stimpson said quote "Jim Barber and Lawrence Battiste have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the mobile police department and I have full confidence in their abilities to move our city forward."

Mayor Stimpson says he hopes the city council will approve the appointments as quickly as possible.

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