WLOX Sits Down With The New Ocean Springs Police Chief, Lionel Cothern

"Chief Cothern's going to do an outstanding job. It's time for some younger blood to come in here," says George Mulvaney, retiring Ocean Springs Deputy Chief.

When it comes to Lionel Cothern, retiring Deputy Chief George Mulvaney gives Cothern the gold seal of approval. Cothern, the new Ocean Springs Police Chief says his mentor, friend and neighbor has played a key role in helping him reach the top position.

"I am where I am today because of Deputy Chief Mulvaney. Deputy Chief Mulvaney has been a great friend for 21 years and has been my mentor," says Chief Lionel Cothern, Ocean Springs police.

The Biloxi native started out as a volunteer reserve officer in 1984. Two years later, the Ocean Springs police department hired Cothern as a full-time officer, and he continued to move up the ranks. Now as chief, Cothern says he has a simple yet effective plan on how to manage fellow officers in his department.

"Treat them fairly and continue to get them the best equipment and let their voice be heard," says Cothern.

Mulvaney says Cothern's experience in two branches of law enforcement makes him the man for the job.

"You have law enforcement, and you've got your administrative. There's a lot of difference between being out on the street and then taking over administration.  He's had the benefit of being on both sides of it. He's had the experience of on the job training; so he's ready to go with it," says Mulvaney.

Cothern says he's ready to take on his new role, and he has an idea on about how long he plans to stay on the job.

"I'm hoping at least another 10 years. I cannot promise 37 years that he (Mulvaney) put in," says Cothern.

One thing Chief Cothern hopes the public will support is a new public safety facility. He says the maintenance cost are expensive and the department has outgrown the facility built back in the 1960's.