The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced Friday the agency has appointed Lt. Col. Rusty Pittman, marine patrol assistant chief, to interim marine patrol chief of enforcement. The appointment is effective immediately.
Pittman's appointment came after the retirement of Marine Patrol Chief Walter "Tiny" Chataginer.
Pittman has over 23 years of law enforcement experience and has been assistant chief of marine patrol since January 2006. Before that, he was the supervisor of the marine patrol's west district from 1999 until late 2005. He started with the state of Mississippi in 1990 when he went to work for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Bureau of Marine Resources.
Pittman is a Gulfport native who has lived in Hancock County since 1980.
DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said, "I have full confidence in Lt. Col. Pittman in leading the marine patrol as the search for a new chief of enforcement for marine patrol begins."