PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Pascagoula’s new top police officer officially took over October 2, and said he wants to “continue what we do" within the department.
Deputy Chief Matt Chapman is now the acting chief after the current Chief Kenny Johnson announced his retirement on Wednesday. His last day will be October 31, 2019.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to serve as chief of Pascagoula,” Chapman said.
Chapman began his career in the military at 18 and became a police officer at 21. He’s been with the Pascagoula Police Department for nearly 28 years. Chapman also did a short stint with the Biloxi Police Department for three months.
He said the chief position is something he’s looking forward to tackling.
“You always want to be the top police officer in any department if you spend any kind of time in it. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer, from the time I became a police officer at 21, actually 18 if you count military time, you always want to rise to the top," he said.
Chapman said his goal is to make this a smooth transition.
“I just want to keep morale up, make sure our people have what they need to do their job, and just keep things going,” he added.
Chapman has worked as Johnson’s deputy chief since 2011.
Johnson’s retirement will go into effect on Oct. 31, 2019.
“The City of Pascagoula appreciates the years of dedicated service Chief Johnson has given to this community,” said city manager Ryan Frederic in a written statement. “He has served and protected the people of this city for over 25 years, and he deserves the appreciation of our citizens as he moves to retirement. Being chief for ten years is no easy task.”
Frederic continued: “I’m fully confident that Chief Chapman can and will effectively lead this department. New Chief Chapman will continue the highest level of service and enforcement expected of the Pascagoula Police Department."