Turmoil continues as Lithonia names interim police chief

Police Chief Roosevelt Smith is the target of an investigation in Lithonia.

Police Chief Roosevelt Smith is the target of an investigation in Lithonia.

A recent move by Lithonia officials seemed to add to the trouble facing the city’s police department.

During a special meeting Friday, council members appointed Sgt. Pserda Dickerson as interim chief, replacing Roosevelt Smith, Channel 2 Action News reported.

After Dickerson was appointed, several officers resigned. Many of them apparently thought the council would appoint someone of a higher rank, such as a major or a captain.

“I think it was just a matter of the council appointing someone on a temporary basis who’s been with the department that they felt comfortable with at this time during this process,” Mayor Deborah Jackson said.

Smith is on paid leave while officials investigate complaints against him by officers who have left the department, the news station reported.

Smith has denied all of the allegations, the news station reported. He declined to comment further.

The investigation is expected to last several weeks and the council is expected to decide Thursday which firm will conduct it.

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