Carnley assumes reigns at OPD

Published 2:32 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nickey Carnley has always called Opp his home and now he has the opportunity to help make his hometown remain safe as its chief of police.

Carnley first joined the Opp Police Department in May 1980 and, along with a small stint at the Covington County Sheriff’s office from 1983 through 1990, has remained a vigilant member of the Opp law enforcement community.

“I have been around Covington County all of my life,” he said. “I was born and raised here. I have made my career here.”

Opp mayor H.D. Edgar announced his decision to name Carnley as the incoming chief on Mon., Oct. 20, and Carnley said it was an exciting occasion.

“I am appreciative that the mayor has the confidence in me to run the police department,” Carnley said. “It will be exciting and challenging.

“There will be some rough edges in the beginning, but once everything is mellowed out then it will be great,” he said.

Carnley officially took the reins from retiring chief Bill Shaw on Nov. 1, moving up from his rank as captain and his position as the senior investigator for OPD, and he said things have been fairly busy.

“Right now it is hectic,” he said. “I know it is going to calm down eventually. I have been meeting with all the officers to talk with them and let them know what I expect. I just want them to know my way of leadership. Bill had his way and I have mine. There is not a big difference, but there is some.”

Carnley said it was a pleasure to serve under Shaw and he hopes to bring something new the table that will continue to improve the OPD.

“There will not be a great deal of changes,” he said. “Nothing dynamic. I like to be out there with them. I like to be hands on. I want to be out there on the street with the officers. That is my intention. I want to walk all the shifts. I want to be able to spend some time with all of the officers.

“Most of the time you only see your boss when you are in his office getting chewed out, but I like to do things differently,” he added. “You need to be out there with them. I believe you need to out there for them and out there to set the example. You hold them accountable and you also hold yourself accountable.”