ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Over recent months, WDHN News has reported on lack of manpower and other issues that has faced the Elba Police Department.

But last week, a new police chief took over the reigns of the department, and he’s already starting to see a positive change.

Last week, Troy Staley became Elba’s most recent police chief. The Covington County native received a football scholarship for St. Olaf college in Minnesota. Since then, he has worked for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. He was also a police chief for Castleberry, Alabama, and a patrol sergeant for Opp Police Department.

By the end of this year, he plans to have several patrol officer vacancies filled. A big problem that has been facing the city since the summer.

“The first goal is I have some slots I have to fill,” Chief Staley said. “So bringing good quality officers into the city of Elba to service the citizens here.”

Mayor Tom Maddox told WDHN News that he’s already seen a great improvement, especially recruiting new personnel.

Mayor Maddox says the chief is big on community policing. It’s where officers get within the community and get to know the residents and their concerns.

“He is certainly a people person interested in the community and interested in doing the neighborhood policing that I like,” Mayor Maddox said.

“You want to get the community to know who you are and someone the community can trust,” Chief Staley said. “And instill those characteristics of integrity; to hold yourself to a higher standard.”

Chief Staley says he has an open door policy for his employees and those in the community who have concerns. His goal is for himself and his officers to have a positive influence on the lives of residents.