|Updated: 2/14 10:19 pm
||Published: 2/14 7:45 pm
MOUNDS, Okla. - A Tulsa-area police chief has pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement charges on Tuesday.
Former Mounds Police Chief Chad Long admitted to taking thousands of dollars from a purse taken into evidence.
FOX23 went to Mounds to look at how the new police chief is working to build the town's trust
This is a town of less than 2,000 people, and many knew Long and were shocked and saddened by what happened under his watch.
He will serve 10 days in jail and was also given a five-year suspended sentence.
He is also being forced to pay fines and court costs.
Sandra Barton and her husband have lived in Mounds for 44 years.
She said her heart broke when the news of Long first came out.
"We've all known Chad all of his life, and it was very disappointing," said Barton.
She said it was hard knowing someone in an authority position had abused his power.
As the town works to recover from the betrayal of a former police chief, new Police Chief Tim McDaniel has taken office and is working hard to rebuild the trust of the citizens.
"We want our community to know exactly what their Police Department is doing, and we also want to be an integral part of our community," said McDaniel.
That includes more officers, an open-door policy and a movement towards an accreditation.
"As we work towards accreditation, that means that our department is held accountable for the things we say we're going to do, such as policies and procedures," McDaniel explained.
McDaniel said it is human nature to be tempted, and following the case of Long, he's working hard to take that out of the equation for himself and his officers.
FOX23 spoke with several people around town and found out why they say the role of police chief isn't just for public safety.
Chief Tim McDaniel took over as Mounds Police chief in 2012.
He soon realized he had a lot of work to do to renew the town's trust in the police department.
"I feel like we need to be accountable to our public and we need to be accountable to the citizens of this community as well as each other," said McDaniel.
McDaniel realized the job wouldn't be easy following the scandal that the former chief got himself into.
One way he's working to regain the trust of the town is by keeping his door open to everyone.
"For one thing, I have an absolute open door policy to all and if I’m in this office and I’m not in a meeting, then anyone who walks through that door I will sit down and give them the time they need," said McDaniel.
New policies and procedures for accountability among officers and work toward accreditation are also in the works.
Margaret Zumwalt owns a resale shop near the Mounds Police Station.
When news broke about the former police chief, she was surprised.
"As a wife of a former law enforcement officer, the thoughts that I had was he is in the public eye all the time and they should be above reproach," said Zumwalt.
She says the role of police chief isn't just for public safety.
"They set an example, or should, for our young people and for just the public as a whole," Zumwalt explained.
She hopes the town can continue to move forward with its new leadership under McDaniel but realizes he has a lot of work ahead of him to rebuild the trust that the former chief lost.
"It would be difficult to step back into that and try and bring some good out of it," McDaniel said.