A New Chief In Town

Veteran law enforcement officer James I. Luke has been named interim police chief in Picayune. Picayune City Manager J.P. Burns Jr. announced Tuesday that Luke will begin work on Oct. 1 and will report to Picayune Police Chief Brenda Smith. Smith has announced her retirement from the police department for early 2003.

City officials said Luke has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and management, most recently as chief of campus police for the Picayune School District, where he has worked since 1994. Luke worked for Mason Technology Inc., Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant as assistant chief and chief from 1981-94.

He was employed by the Picayune Police Department from 1976-81. Luke began his law enforcement career as a revenue inspector with the State Tax Commission from 1971-76.