HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The mayor of a Mississippi city says he intends keep the police chief chosen by his predecessor.

Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker announced Tuesday that he wants Chief Anthony Parker to remain on the job.

Barker became mayor in July.

Parker has been police chief since August 2015 after being nominated by then-Mayor Johnny DuPree and approved by the City Council.

Local news outlets report that Barker and Parker agree there should be a continued emphasis on police officers having strong ties to the community.

Parker has 35 years of law enforcement experience, including 28 years with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Immediately before taking the job in Hattiesburg, he was police chief in Crystal Springs.

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