Paul Prine Named New Police Chief of Mobile

By: Amelia Rose Zimlich | Managing Editor | arz1722@jagmail.southalabama.edu

Image source: Mobile PD website

Major Paul Prine was named Mobile’s Chief of Police on Oct. 12 after approval from the Mobile City Council.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced his choice of Prine on Oct. 1 to succeed the former chief, Lawrence Battiste, after he was appointed as the executive director of public safety for Mobile. Prine has been with the Mobile Police Department (MPD) for 26 years. 

Prine began his career in the Chickasaw Police Department in 1995 and was accepted into the Mobile Police Academy in 1997, where he graduated the top of his class, according to his biography

In October 2001, he sustained life-threatening injuries in the line of duty after being shot multiple times in response to a domestic call. In December 2013, he was appointed to a new role as commander of MPD’s Third Precinct. In October 2020, he was promoted to Major and commanded the Field Operations Division.

Prine has three core initiatives in his new role, according to AL.com:

  • Developing and adhering to a strategic plan aimed at reducing crime that will involve intelligence-led policing.
  • Increasing community engagement through building relations with faith-based organizations and other groups.
  • Instilling professionalism with the department and address a problem with attrition.

Mobile has seen a noticeable increase in crime in 2021. More than 40 homicides have been reported this year, closing in on the 46 total homicides reported in 2020 and 40 total homicides in 2019. The highest recorded homicides in Mobile since 2010 occurred in 2017, with a total of 50 homicides.

“There is a process to figuring out the best way to attack that problem, and we will be doing that with the staff as we move forward,” Prine told WKRG.

Prine’s appointment is one of several changes to the MPD. Former Interim Police Chief Roy Hodge resigned from the department on Oct. 7. Hodge was appointed to the position in March and was one of 6 nominated for the role of police chief, according to WKRG, which ultimately went to Prine.