Gulfport Fire Chief Stepping Down

The city of Gulfport will soon have a new mayor, but that's not the only new official to be coming in. The city will be getting a new fire chief as well.

Current Gulfport Fire Chief James White announced his retirement on Tuesday. White started his career with the Gulfport Fire Department in 1965 and became fire chief in 1983. But in 1989, White was terminated as fire chief by then Mayor Ken Combs.

White could have stayed on in a lesser role. But instead of accepting the demotion, he chose to retire. White returned as Gulfport's fire chief in 1998 under Mayor Bob Short's administration.

White says he has fulfilled his commitment to Mayor Short, and now it's time to move on.

"When the mayor asked me to come back, Mayor Short asked me to come back, I pledged to him I would work for him as long as he was mayor or as long as he wanted me," Chief White said. "So there'll be a new mayor coming in, either Mayor Combs or Mayor Beasley in July, so they'll be able to appoint their choice of fire chief."

White's retirement takes effect June 30th. He plans to take a month off, then decide what he'll do next.