Council members approve of new police chief - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lonnie Christian sworn in as new Beckley Police Chief

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Beckley Mayor Bill O'Brien swears in new police chief Lonnie Christian. Beckley Mayor Bill O'Brien swears in new police chief Lonnie Christian.

Beckley Mayor Bill O'Brien swore in the city's newest police chief on Wednesday, Jan. 29. 

Lonnie Christian took the oath at Beckley City Hall at 10 a.m.  Members of the law enforcement community joined residents of the city to witness the oath of office.  Christian and Mayor O'Brien both said that they hope to have the police department more involved in the community.
The hit if the gavel was heard throughout all of Beckley at the common council meeting on Tuesday when the decision to appoint a new police chief was approved. Mayor Bill O'Brien made the decision to replace Tim Deems as the chief on Friday.

Deems spent seven years as Beckley's police chief, but on Tuesday night, Lonnie Christian took his seat at the council meeting. Christian is a former captain with the Beckley Police, and Mayor O'Brien said that reason behind that change was that Christian's management style was more in line with O'Brien's administration.

Some people may be wondering why Tim Deems was replaced so soon after the council approved a pay raise. The mayor said the raise was for the police chief position, not the chief specifically.

No council members opposed the idea to make Lonnie Christian the new chief and Christian will be sworn in Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.