At a special meeting on Tuesday, the Buchanan City Council approved hiring Brent Christopher, 50, as the city’s new chief of police.

The council members voted 3-0 to offer the job to Christopher, a sergeant at the Bowdon Police Department and one of five applicants for the position. Councilman Kendall Holderfield abstained from the vote with no explanation.

Christopher, a 1989 graduate of Haralson County High School, was born and raised in Buchanan. Although he now lives in Waco, he considers Buchanan his home.

“I’ve always wanted to go back to my hometown and do some good,” Christopher said.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he began working in law enforcement as a correctional officer at West Georgia Boot Camp. In 2000, after three years at the camp, Christopher opened God’s Gym in Bowdon. He felt like the pay in law enforcement was too low, and decided to work for himself, Christopher said. He owned and operated the gym for 15 years.

The pull to law enforcement was too strong for him to ignore, though, Christopher said.

“I just saw a need in the community and a huge drug problem. I have two siblings who are addicts and I just hate drugs and what it does to families,” Christoper said. “That’s why I got back into law enforcement.”

His wife took over managing the gym and in 2015, he began working as a jailer at the Carroll County Jail. Then in 2016, he attended the police academy and began working at the Bowdon Police Department. He is currently a sergeant at the department in charge of the K-9 unit.

“That is going to be the hardest part of it, letting my dog go,” Christopher said.

But he added that he is excited to return to Buchanan and eager to meet the officers he will be working with, Christopher said.

Former Buchanan police Chief Chad Henderson resigned from the department effective Feb. 19. He had worked at the department since October 2014.

Mayor A.J. Scott said after the meeting that he would be meeting with Christopher later in the week to schedule his oath of office and start date.

The salary of the new police chief is still being negotiated, said Buchanan City Clerk Sherry Taylor.