Randy Tyler
Randy Tyler
RIDGELAND - City officials unanimously named Randy Tyler to succeed retiring Police Chief Jimmy Houston during a meeting on Tuesday.

Ridgeland officials said two qualified candidates applied from within the Ridgeland Police Department, but at the end of the day Tyler was the more qualified candidate.

"When he came in for the interview it was obvious he was the person to provide what we were looking for," Mayor Gene McGee said.

McGee said that they were looking for leadership and a long-standing record with the department. Tyler had been assistant chief for 12 years under Houston, as well as serving as Interim Chief while Houston ran for Madison County Sheriff in 2011.

Tyler has served with Ridgeland PD since Oct. 1, 1987.

"We strongly feel that you want to train people up from within and that is something we strongly encourage our department heads to do," McGee said.

Houston said that training a replacement was his goal from day one.

"When I took the job I promised the board I would train those under me to be chief one day," Houston said.

While Houston thinks that there are at least four qualified candidates in his department, he said the board made a great choice. He described Tyler as methodical, intelligent, slow moving and fast thinking, and a great team player.

"Randy is one of the smartest guys I have ever worked around," Houston said, "He has gotten himself ready every day for this job."

Tyler was on vacation and could not be reached as of press time.