Mayor Sandy Stimpson today announced that he has accepted the resignation of Rich Landolt as Public Safety Director for the City of Mobile. Landolt said he is leaving to pursue opportunities in the national security field.

“Rich has earned my gratitude and respect for his honorable service to the citizens of Mobile,” Stimpson said. “Under his leadership, we have modernized our Police and Fire fleets, improved pay for our first responders and hired some of the most diverse, qualified classes in city history. His contributions have moved us closer to our goal of becoming the safest, most business and family friendly city in America.”

Landolt, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, was appointed to the position in July 2014. Landolt will continue to serve as a board member of the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency and as a commissioner for the Mobile County Communications District.

“In the less than three years I have been in this position, our team has accomplished great things in the realm of public safety,” Landolt said. “It’s been an honor to be a part of this Administration and part of this city’s pivot towards a brighter future. I thank Mayor Stimpson and the entire City of Mobile for the opportunity to serve here.”

Stimpson announced the promotions of Mobile Police Chief James Barber to the position of Public Safety Director, and Assistant Chief Lawrence Battiste to the position of Chief.

“Jim Barber and Lawrence Battiste have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Mobile Police Department and I have full confidence in their abilities to move our city forward,” Stimpson said. “We hope that the City Council will approve their appointments as quickly as possible to ensure continuity.”

As Public Safety Director, Barber will be responsible for the City’s Public Safety Division, consisting of the Police, Fire-Rescue Department, Safety and Performance Department, and Animal Control. He has served 29 years at the Mobile Police Department and is a recipient of the Officer of the Year award and the Distinguished Service Medallion.

“The fundamental purpose of government is the safety of the public,” said Chief Barber. “Failure to provide for this fundamental purpose is not an option. I am both humbled and honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that this basic obligation is fulfilled.”

Chief Battiste has served as Assistant Police Chief since 2015 after serving as the former chief of police for the City of Prichard. He is a recipient of the Mayor’s Eagle Award, Deputy of the Year, Sheriff’s Commendation, Commander’s Citation, and the Combat Cross award.

“I am extremely honored to have been asked to serve as the next Chief of Police for the City of Mobile,” said Battiste. “I look forward to continuing the vision of Mayor Stimpson and Chief Barber in making Mobile the safest city in America with respect for everyone.”