Word of Moss Point Police Chief Demetrius Drakeford's resignation had barely hit the streets, before making its way into Burnham's Drugs.
"I was surprised. I'd been impressed with Chief Drakeford, thought he's done a great job for our city. I know keeping officers has been a challenge for him," Burnham Drugs owner John McKinney said.
Chief Drakeford told WLOX the retention rate of officers has improved during his two-year term, because of additional patrolmen, equipment, and improving morale among officers.
"He's been able to bring some very valuable resources, most notably training and other equipment that was much needed in the department. I think in the short tenure he's been there, he's made a dramatic improvement," Moss Point Mayor Xavier Bishop said.
McKinney hopes the city moves fast to hire another chief, and provides a competitive salary for a candidate with experience.
"Money is tight in the city of Moss Point, but at the same time, public safety is a vital issue and concern to all the citizens," McKinney said.
Mayor Bishop says finding a replacement will be difficult because of a coast-wide hiring crisis. But Bishop says the experience Chief Drakeford gained in Moss Point has prepared him for success.
"The thing to keep in mind is that while he's been police chief for two years, these aren't normal two years; these are Katrina years. They bring with them a high degree of challenge and stress that we have all experienced over the last two and a half years," Bishop said.
Drakeford says he has left the department in better shape than he received it, and hopes someone from within will soon fill his spot.
Chief Drakeford told WLOX News that reports of him taking a job with the federal prosecutor's office are not true. Drakeford says he has not applied nor been offered a job with the federal government at this time.
His last day at the Moss Point P.D. will be December 31st.