ZAVALLA,TX — After spending almost a month without a police chief, the Zavalla City Council on Monday night promoted an eight-year veteran, giving him a 90-day run at the position.
Lt. Joey Courtney will hold the title of police chief for the next 90 days, according to Zavalla Mayor Greg Fletcher. After that, the council will review his performance and make a permanent decision on his candidacy.
“We decided to bump him up because he was next in line,” Fletcher said. “We may decide to go with him on that. It’s just a probationary period. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll go a different route. I feel that he will do a good job. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
The new chief said he is looking forward to the opportunity he’s been given, noting that he learned a lot in the time he spent working under Bobby Epperly, who accepted a position with the city of Huntington in May.
“Bobby Epperly taught me a lot of good things. I look forward to serving the best I can,” Courtney said.
As for the firing of Jim Hodges, who served two months as Zavalla’s chief, Fletcher said, “We just had to go a different route.” He declined further comment.
With Courtney acting as chief, Fletcher said he hopes to begin addressing staffing issues within the department, as it is currently down an officer.
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