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Biloxi post office could soon be named after slain officer

The U.S. House passed the bill unanimously. It now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 2:01 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLOX) - The Biloxi post office on Main Street could soon be named after a police officer killed in the line of duty.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would rename the Biloxi USPS office as the Robert S. McKeithen Post Office Building.

McKeithen was a 24-year veteran of the Biloxi Police Department who was ambushed in 2019 outside the city’s public safety center and shot multiple times.

Officer Robert McKeithen is being remembered throughout Biloxi for his many selfless actions...
Officer Robert McKeithen is being remembered throughout Biloxi for his many selfless actions over the last 24 years.(Photo source: Biloxi Police Dept.)

The bill was introduced by Rep. Steven Palazzo, who said he has been inspired by McKeithen’s selfless nature, spirit of service and strength of character.

“Officer Robert McKeithen’s end of watch was in Biloxi on May 5th, 2019, but his post office renaming will provide for a daily reminder of his dedication to his community and our respect for law enforcement,” said Palazzo as he introduced the bill to fellow representatives.

H.R. 3175 passed in the House by unanimous voice vote and is now headed to the Senate.

U.S. House passes bill to rename Biloxi post office after slain officer
U.S. House passes bill to rename Biloxi post office after slain officer

Below is the full transcription of Palazzo’s comments to the House when introducing the bill:

Madam Speaker,

I rise today in support of H.R. 3175, which will designate the post office located at 135 Main Street in Biloxi, Mississippi, as the “Robert S. McKeithen Post Office Building.”

Robert McKeithen began his career in service to this great nation and ended it in service to south Mississippi.

Officer McKeithen graduated from the University of Mississippi and went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force, where he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal. He retired from the Air Force as a Tech Sergeant.

After his service in the Air Force, McKeithen became an officer and worked at the Biloxi Police Department for 24 years.

A testament to his selfless nature, Robert was one of the 13 officers in the Department honored with the Medal of Valor for his rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I am inspired by his spirit of service and strength of character. A great man and officer was taken too soon, but he will never be forgotten.

Officer Robert McKeithen’s end of watch was in Biloxi on May 5th, 2019, but his post office renaming will provide for a daily reminder of his dedication to his community and our respect for law enforcement.

I thank the McKeithen family-to include his wife, Pamela McKeithen; his children, Amy, Levi, Natalie, Logan, Lillian, and Lauren; his grandchildren, Delmas and Kaiden; his sisters, Melissa and Kathryn; and his brother, William- for allowing me the honor to introduce this piece of legislation in Robert’s memory.

With that, I urge all my colleagues to support H.R. 3175.

Thank you, and I yield back.

McKeithen, a 24-year veteran of Biloxi Police Department, was ambushed outside the Biloxi Public Safety Complex and shot multiple times. Darian Atkinson was arrested and charged with capital murder in the officer’s death following a manhunt in South Mississippi. He is now awaiting trial. Several other suspects were also arrested and have since pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the murder.

READ MORE: A timeline of Officer McKeithen’s murder and the events afterward

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