MOBILE — Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is working to push the city forward through a storm of controversy over Police Chief Paul Prine's firing.

While Prine has maintained he was targeted for being a whistleblower, Stimpson claims Prine's actions were 100% politically motivated.

Now, Stimpson's focus will be on rebuilding public trust. Council members have expressed concern over public trust during the past three council meetings. The public back-and-forth between the mayor and former police chief has caused community members to speak out against the city administration.

Hoping to turn a negative into a positive, Stimpson said he hopes to develop a plan for the police department that will allow better policing.

Stimpson said he plans to be transparent and reactive to citizen concerns. He said the newly appointed interim police chief, Randy Jackson, has successfully taken on his new role.

"I want the community to know that we are listening to you," Stimpson said. "Chief Jackson has taken the helm of MPD in the face of turmoil and unwanted scrutiny. Throughout all this, he has demonstrated the character and leadership needed to keep MPD focused on this core mission."

As police officers deal with the public scrutiny, they also have a job. Stimpson and Prine have both urged officers to continue to put the responsibility of serving the public first.

"The men and women of MPD put their lives on the line every day to protect our community, and they deserve clear leadership without the continued negative distraction," Stimpson said. "Protecting our citizens is a most noble cause, and I want officers, the men and women, to know that we will support them and continue to provide the tools, the resources and the training they need to do their job."

"That means rebuilding trust in the community," he continued. "It means working with other law enforcement agencies, also the judicial system, nonprofits, and nonprofits to fight crime, and we will fight it from every angle together. We will continue to make Mobile a safer city for every citizen, and I'm certain the future remains very bright."

Stimpson is not ready to decide who will permanently take over as police chief.

The city council approved a resolution Tuesday to investigate Prine's claims. Stimpson has also sent materials to the Alabama Attorney General's Office and requested an investigation. Stimpson told reporters that those materials, including emails and contracts, would be made available to the public.

Stimpson plans to run for re-election in 2025.

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