Lexington police chief appointed as interim fire chief

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LEXINGTON, Tenn. — The city of Lexington has a new interim fire chief. At the monthly city board meeting, longtime Police Chief Roger Loftin was appointed into the new position for up to 15 months. “We feel confident that we made the right decision,” Lexington Mayor David Jowers said. Jowers said the decision was largely financial. After the retirement of Fire Chief Glenn Wood at the end of May, the city faced a financial dilemma as to how to essentially pay two chiefs, as Wood earned more than 12 months in benefits prior to retiring. The dual chief position will save taxpayers around $55,000. Loftin will not have a big commute as part of his new role. Fire Station One is located in the same building as the city police department. “That’s what’s going to be a big help and make it a doable situation,” Loftin said. “We are housed in the same building. We have been for several years so we’re all familiar with each other.” Loftin will now be managing nearly 45 employees and admits the job means more number crunching and paperwork. Although he will not see a bigger payday or earn extra time off, he said he does not mind the new job title. “By using personnel from both departments we’ll be better off in 15 months than we are today,” he said. Some residents said they are confident Loftin can manage both public service agencies well. “He can handle the job,” Caroll Keen said. “He’s qualified for both jobs, and I think they’ve done the right thing.” Loftin began his career in law enforcement in 1983. He has served as Lexington’s police chief since 1990.

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