ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — The Athens City Council officially appointed a new police chief, and it should be a very familiar face for the people of Athens.

On Monday night during their city council meeting, the council voted unanimously for Interim Police Chief Anthony Pressnell to serve as the next chief of the department, effective next month.

Presnell was named interim police chief at a council meeting in July, following the former chief Floyd Johnson announcing his retirement on June 26, after 41 years with the department.

He has served with the Athens Police Department since January 1989, and most recently served for 11 years as Captain, supervising patrol, before becoming the interim.

“I’m very big on community relations. I want us out in the community, meeting people, talking to people, seeing what their issues are in their communities, and helping them on those issues,” Pressnell told News 19.

His message to the men and women in his department?

“I appreciate the job all of them do – whether that’s officers, dispatchers, support staff…I support them and I want them to do the best job possible for the citizens,” said Pressnell. 

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks says Pressnell will do a fine job in his new role.

“We call him lovingly, we call him ‘Big A’ – been calling him that for years. Now, Chief Anthony will do a great job. He’s well-known in the community. People appreciate him. He’s professional. He treats people fair. I am so proud of the city council for making this move,” said Marks. 

Pressnell will assume his role effective November 5th.