On Friday morning, Ron Latimer stood before District Judge Don Word, placed his hand on the Bible that his wife, Lana, was holding, and swore to do his job.

That’s something he’s been doing for the past 29 years, but to make it official, he was sworn in at Scottsboro City Hall as the city’s new police chief.

Better late than never, right?

Latimer had served as interim chief for almost 10 months prior to this week, when Mayor Jim McCamy made the recommendation and the city council approved it, making Latimer the permanent police chief.

An alleged incident last September in Marshall County, which was later dismissed, prolonged the obvious of making Latimer police chief, replacing Ralph Dawe who had retired. Latimer was accused of operating a vessel under the influence.

While there will always be those who want to criticize, the fact is Latimer paid the price. He had to carry the interim tag a lot longer than he should have.

His whole professional career has been at the Scottsboro Police Department. He’s earned his position. Thankfully those who make those decisions, made the right one this week.

DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Jackson County Sentinel. He can be reached at dewayne.patterson@jcsentinel.com.

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