REED CITY -- The Reed City city council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of Officer Chris Lockhart for Reed City Chief of Police at a special meeting Feb. 28.

Reed City Mayor Trevor Guile's made the motion to confirm the appointment of Lockhart.

"The motion carries, welcome Sir," Guile's said following the vote. "We are proud to have you."

Lockhart thanked the mayor and the council, saying he is excited to be a part of the Reed City Police Department.

"I am excited about being here, about working with the Reed City community," Lockhart said.

"I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work."

Lockhart added that he will begin his role by listening to the police officers, the city council members and the community about what police services are needed.

Since the retirement of Police Chief Chuck Davis in September, Sergeant Brian Koschmider has been serving as Interim Police Chief.

Koschmider said that because he has been doing the job of two people, he is very happy to have Lockhart aboard.

"I'm very relieved," he said. "To do both roles is too much for one person, and I am looking forward to having his help. I think we will work well together."

"I was running out of extra energy, so he will be a welcome addition," he added.

After the retirement of Davis, the city council formed a selection committee consisting of Mayor Guile's, Mayor Pro-tem Dan Burchette, councilman Roger Meinert, Koschmider and city manager Ron Howell to search for a replacement.

"We interviewed the candidates and after our discussions, we came to a unanimous agreement for the city manager to recommend the appointment of Lockhart," Guile's said.

"I was impressed with his overall professionalism and knowledge of the job," he added.

Lockhart has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. He was a deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff's Department for 17 years, and most recently, he was a police officer with the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety.

Lockhart said although he enjoyed his work with the FSU DPS, he wanted to get back to his local community where he could have an impact on his hometown.

"This has been a dream of mine for quite some time," Lockhart said. "I want to be as involved with the community as possible. I think that is an important part of the job -- not only serving the community, but also being a part of it."

Lockhart currently serves on the Cedar Township Board of Trustees, but said his term is up for re-election this year, and he will most likely not seek another term.

"The city will be my primary focus now," he said.

Lockhart will have a starting salary of $62,000. According to Howell, that would be within the budgeted amount for the position.

He will begin is duties as police chief in a couple of weeks, after all the paperwork is completed, he said.