A ‘very different person’ from the department has been praised as Mobele’s next police chief

A 'very different person' from the department has been praised as Mobele's next police chief

“There is a lot of excitement in taking this department and moving it in a direction that will benefit not only the department but the community as a whole,” Prine said. “There is a lot of burden that comes with the responsibility. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Developing and adhering to a strategic plan aimed at reducing crime that will involve intelligence-led policingIncreasing community engagement through building relations with faith-based organizations and other groupsInstilling professionalism with the department and address a problem with attrition.

“We’ve got to find a way to treat our employees with value and respect and allow them to see that they can contribute to the organization,” he said.

Prine said the department is down 40-50 officers right now, and admits that retention of police officers is a concern.

Story Highlights

  • Mobile Police Maj. Paul Prine, 50, was introduced during a news conference at Government Plaza as the choice to lead a department of approximately 470 employees that has been dealing with attrition problems. The employment issues come as shootings continue to plague the city as police grapple with a rise in some violent crimes like homicides.

  • Prine said he plans to approach his leadership role with three components:

Prine, a Prichard native, said he might very well be the most diverse person within the department. His mother is Hispanic and his wife, Kay, is Asian. He said he has biracial members throughout his family.

“It’s a reflection of the community,” said Prine. “The community is diverse. A person like me … can certainly understand and connect with everyone in the community.”

His selection occurred after what Stimpson described as a “grueling process” that involved interviews and personality profiles conducted on six finalists with “over 120 years” of combined law enforcement experience. Of those under consideration was current Interim Police Chief Roy Hodge, who took over that role in March after former Chief Lawrence Battiste was appointed as the city’s executive director of public safety.

Stimpson said Hodge “deserves a whole lot of respect and appreciation for serving” as the interim chief, acknowledging that it’s a tough position to be in. “At this point in time, we felt that Paul Prine was the correct candidate,” Stimpson said.

Stimpson said he believes Prine will be able to build upon community engagement and trust within the neighborhoods. He also said that speaking to the media and being “able to articulate in a way that is succinct and professional” to the public was also an important factor. “The chief of police is the face for the department,” Stimpson said.

“I’m confident I’ll have your support as well,” he said.

Prine said he looks forward to “sharing my vision and my plan” with council members ahead of their vote. Prine’s appointment will require approval from the Mobile City Council, whose members are expected to begin meeting with him in the coming days.