REED CITY — Over a month into the job, Reed City police chief Christopher Lockhart said everything has been running smoothly.

"It's been going great," he said. "The officers, department heads, city council members and community have been very welcoming and great to work with."

The council voted unanimously to approve Lockhart for the position in February, and he officially stepped into the role March 16.

Born and raised in Reed City, Lockhart sought the position of chief of police after a several decade career in law enforcement.

He began working in corrections with the Lake County Sheriff's Office in 1996. From there, he moved on to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office for 17 years.

After a brief stint as a fraud investigator and then an officer with the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety, Lockhart said he decided it was time to return home and go out for the open position with the Reed City Police Department.

"I missed the community and being back in my hometown," he said. "When this position opened, I applied and was lucky enough to be offered it. I am excited about working with the Reed City community."

Osceola County Sheriff Ed Williams said he is excited to work with Lockhart as the new police chief.

"It will be nice to have someone fulfill that role," Williams said.

The position became available after the retirement of longtime police chief Chuck Davis in September. Since then, Sergeant Brian Koschmider has been serving as interim chief.

Koschmider said previously he is excited to have Lockhart on board so he can go back to serving as sergeant, rather than filling two roles at the police department.

As he continues in the role of police chief, Lockhart said his first priority is being responsive to the needs and wants of area residents.

"The main goal I have is listening to the community, officers and council on what law enforcement services are needed," he said.

Lockhart said he is looking forward to working in the city he has known his whole life.

"Reed City is my home," he said. "I have always wanted to be local."