QUITMAN — Newly hired Quitman Police Chief Charles E. Fowler likes the speed of things in Quitman, even though the position of police chief comes with more headaches than patrolling, he said.

After 14 years with the Meridian Police Department, Fowler likes the change of pace, but he and his officers aren’t just sitting around shooting the breeze.

“Quitman has crime just like everywhere else,” he said. “We have our drug dealers and our speeders, but what we don’t see a lot of is violent crime.”

Fowler took over as chief on March 8. He replaced Jimmy Ivy, who retired last year. During the interim, Assistant Police Chief Donnie Huggins served as acting chief.

Fowler currently lives in Meridian with his wife, Becki, but he said they are planning to move to Quitman or rural Clarke County as soon as they sell their house and find a new one. Between the two, they have five children: Danny Harris, Nikki Pearce, Charles Fowler Jr., Floyd Fowler and Staci Fowler. Their grandson, Christopher Pearce, also lives with them.

As chief, Fowler would like to see his officers receive more training. The department currently has one part-time officer, eight full-time officers and a narcotics officer. Fowler said there is room on the force for one more officer, and he hopes to fill that position soon.

“I would like to see Meridian take a leading role in law enforcement education, and I would like for my department to have access to that,” Fowler said.

Quitman, a town of 2,500, is served by the Waynesboro-based South Mississippi Drug Task Force, which covers Clarke, Wayne, George and Greene counties.

Fowler said crime incidents have been few and far between lately, but he believes crime will increase as it does in most towns as the summer months approach.

Officer Thomas Robinson, who has been a police officer in Quitman since July, is glad to have Fowler as chief.

“He has a lot of hard work ahead of him,” Robinson said.

For fun, Fowler and his wife like to ride his Kawasaki 1500 Nomad motorcycle. They are planning a trip to Cherokee, N.C., in June.

“I have been more than pleased with the quality of the personnel this department has, and I think it speaks well for the people of Quitman and past administrations,” he said.

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