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Former MHP trooper second candidate in police chief race

The Brookhaven chief of police post has become the first race of the city’s municipal elections to attract two candidates, with a former state trooper and the assistant police chief both throwing their hats into the ring this week.

     Ted Goleman qualified Thursday to seek the city’s top law enforcement job. He joins Bobby Bell, the current assistant police chief, in the race.

     Goleman’s running as a Republican, Bell as a Democrat.

     Incumbent Police Chief Pap Henderson hasn’t yet discussed whether he intends to seek another term.

     Goleman previously ran for chief of police in 1997 and said he’s “kicked around” the idea of running again since then.

     “My main goal is to make the city of Brookhaven a safer place,” Goleman said.

     Goleman retired from the Mississippi Highway Patrol in 1996 with a total of 23 years, all served in Troop M.

     The former state trooper said he believes there’s an increasing crime problem in the area, with home break-ins and drug use on the rise.

     “There’s a lot of things going on that needs some work,” he said.

     Goleman said he doesn’t yet have any specific plans to address crime but did indicate a desire to see more officers on the streets.

     “I think the department needs more manpower,” he said. “I know that money is tight and budgets are in a strain, but you’ve got to have a show of force to deter the crime.”

     The GOP candidate pledged to be “fair but firm” if he’s elected chief.

     He’s originally from Walthall County but moved to Brookhaven when he went to work with MHP’s Troop M.

     Following his retirement as a trooper, Goleman said he worked for a few years as a jailer for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

     “You’ve got to have a desire and a love for law enforcement,” Goleman said.

     Candidates may continue to qualify for city office through March 8. Party primaries are scheduled for May 7 with a general election on June 4.