Biloxi police chief retiring after 37 years on the force

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday was the last day Biloxi's police chief will be wearing his police uniform.

Chief Bruce Dunagan is retiring after 37 years with the Biloxi Police Department. He looks forward to fishing, scuba diving and enjoying his passion for classic cars.

Bruce Dunagan jokes that he's already planned retirement activities through November. If you know the chief, he's not one to sit back in the rocking chair anytime soon.

Chief Dunagan reminisced over Beatles and Jan and Dean album covers. He's just as comfortable discussing classic rock as he is police procedures.

And my how things have changed over the years.

"Back when I started, you know, you're the new rookie. You walked the beat. You didn't have all that stuff. There weren't any portable radios, there wasn't any back up units and all that. You had to handle things," said Chief Dunagan.

Military reminders have long been a part of the chief's office decor.

"This is some former South Vietnamese coins that doesn't exist anymore," he said, pointing to some coins on a plaque.

His Vietnam experience helped mold the young man who would later distinguish himself in decades of law enforcement.

"The storm was the second worst thing I've been through. I remember doing the news conferences right after the storm and the journalists were saying, 'Boy, this had to be the worst thing that's happened to you.' And I said, no it was the second worst. Vietnam was the worst thing that ever happened in my life," he said.

Chief Dunagan was honored during his last official city council meeting.

"Do hereby proclaim the 13th day of May 2009 as Bruce Dunagan Day in Biloxi," said Mayor A.J. Holloway.

After graciously accepting the honor, Chief Dunagan chided the mayor about finding someone else for parade duty.

"The one thing you didn't mention in here, I did 37 Mardi Gras, and that's it! You won't see me on another parade," said the chief.

The chief looks forward to enjoying retirement, knowing he's leaving the PD in good shape thanks to a hard working team.

"We've got great men and women here. The sworn and the civilians. Cause it makes everything mesh in here. I'm proud of every one of them. And I know they're going to do well in the future," said Chief Dunagan.

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