Long Beach Police Chief Resigns

Long Beach Police Chief Tom Bishop is stepping down. Mayor Robert Bass says the decision was made late Tuesday night during an executive session with city aldermen. Bass says the ongoing controversies within the Long Beach Police Department made the change necessary.

According to the mayor he sat down with Chief Bishop Tuesday morning and told him a change was necessary. The mayor says Bishop agreed.

The chief, who took the job in 1998, has certainly seen his share of problems. Four female police department employees have filed sexual harrassment and sex discrimination complaints. The first complaint came from Bishop's secretary. The most recent complaint came from a detective who was passed up for a promotion.

At Tuesday night's board meeting, aldermen voted unanimously to reassign Bishop to other duties with the city. He will work as a code enforcement officer and warrant officer with the court system.

Mayor Bass told WLOX News, "This decision is in the best interest of the citizens of Long Beach."

The mayor already has a replacement picked out. Mark Dunston was the city's police chief from the fall of 1996 until the spring of 1998. Dunston will serve on an interim basis although a few details still need to be worked out.

Concerning the outgoing chief the mayor told us, "Chief Bishop has been very faithful to us, and very generous and supportive of these moves. He has been a class act for the city of Long Beach."

Mark Dunston, the man who has been asked to serve as interim chief by Mayor Bass, has served as chief before. Dunston was named Long Beach police chief in 1996 when Wayne Payne left the post. Dunston left Long Beach in April of 1998 to take a job as training coordinator for the police corps program at USM Hattiesburg. Dunston has extensive law enforcement background. Dunston has also worked at several police departments across the country.