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January 24--  It wasn't an unanimous vote, but the Lyons City Council approved the town's new police chief at a called meeting Tuesday night.

In a 3-2 vote, city councilmen Ivy Toole, Jr. and Bill Mixon voted against hiring 46-year-old Wesley Walker.  After the vote, Lyons city attorney Bruce Durden administered the oath of office to Walker and he accepted the Chief's badge from Mayor Willis NeeSmith.

{mosimage}"I'm excited and ready to come over and get started and get my hands dirty, so to speak.  I understand I've got a lot of work to do.  I've got to gain the trust of the community and that's my plan, to come over and do the best job I know how," the new chief said.

Walker has been on the campus police force at the College of Coastal Georgia after working for less than a year as the police chief in Homerville.  He's got 25 years in law enforcement-related work including seven years with the Camden County Sheriff's Office.  He graduated from Valdosta State with a degree in Criminal Justice and worked five years after college as a probation officer.

"You know the biggest thing is you have to have the support of the community.  I can come in with knowledge, training and education, but unless the community supports you, you're not going to be very effective.  I hope that I have that here.  That's what I'm going to work for once I get started," he said.

Chief Walker's first official day on the job is February 1 and he promises changes in the Lyons Police Department.

"You can expect a lot of changes.  I hope they (the police officers) are going to be comfortable with those changes for the better.  I hope that's what they want to see.  That's my idea going into this thing, to make some changes for the good." he promises.