Blountstown- When former Blountstown Police Chief, Rodney Smith unexpectedly retired, many people in the community were surprised.
Not Mark Mallory.
"He had his years in to retire and he was thinking about moving on to do some other things. So, it didn't surprise me as much as it did everybody else."
Smith's absence cleared the way for Mallory's long awaited opportunity.
"I actually started with the Blountstown Police Department- my law enforcement career- in 1999 as an auxiliary and part time officer, then a full time officer. I was a K9 officer here, too. Around 2001, I went to the [Calhoun County] sheriff's office. Worked every position there until I left as a captain. Worked a short time at the Liberty County Sheriff's Office January of this year as a lieutenant investigator before coming back to the BPD."
Mallory said he was taking his past experience, and applying it to lofty departmental goals.
"We want to get more involved with the community and have better training" Mallory explained. "I'd like all the guys here, all the employees, to seek out and go to any training they want to go to that will better their job here and their performance."
Being familiar with the system, he was well aware of the challenges he faced.
"We're a small place so budgets are always a challenge," he said. We're always at what I would call, 'critical staff level.' There's not much overlap, so if one person calls in sick, it leaves us very shorthanded on shifts."
Despite the obstacles, Mallory said he was excited and optimistic about his new role.