OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News has just learned Ocean Springs Police Chief Lionel Cothern will retire after serving the department for 30 years. His last day will be Friday, Jan.16.
That is according to Ward 4 Alderman Mike Impey's Facebook page.
"I want to thank the Ocean Springs city government and the citizens for allowing me to serve them for three decades," said Cothern. "The Ocean Springs Police Department has very good leaders, highly qualified officers and civilian employees that will continue to provide excellent service to the city."
Cothern started his career at the department when he joined the Ocean Springs Police Reserves in 1984. He served as a reserve officer for one year before becoming a full-time animal control officer and 1986.
Cothern graduated from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy in Pearl in September of 1986. From there, he worked his way through the ranks of the Ocean Springs Police Department before being named chief in January of 2007.
According to Mayor Connie Moran, Cothern pushed the department by leaps and bounds during his tenure as the city's top cop.
"It is with regret that I received Chief Cothern's letter of resignation after 30 years of service to the City of Ocean Springs," said Moran. "The Board of Aldermen and I thank him for a job well done, and congratulate him on his many years of dedicated service to our community."
The Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen will appoint an interim police chief and begin the search for a permanent replacement at its next meeting.