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New sheriff names key leaders of his staff

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD 
 Troy Peterson is sworn in as Sheriff by Judge Chris Schmidt, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD Troy Peterson is sworn in as Sheriff by Judge Chris Schmidt, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. SUN HERALD

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson was sworn in Monday and released to the Sun Herald who will be the key leaders in his administration after swearing in his deputies in an afternoon ceremony at the Lyman Community Center. About Peterson and his top leaders:

Sheriff Troy Peterson

Had been with the Harrison County Sheriff's Office 23 years before he resigned to run for the office.

Is a 1988 graduate of Harrison Central High School. Graduated with honors from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in criminal justice.

Was raised in Gulfport and began his public service in 1989 by enlisting in the U.S. Army. After being honorably discharged, in 1994 he began his career in law enforcement as a corrections officer at the Harrison County jail. He became a patrolman for the sheriff's office in 1995 and served as a sniper for the agency's SWAT team. He had trained as a sniper under Carlos Hathcock, a Marine Corps officer considered "the American sniper of the Vietnam War."

He became a narcotics investigator for the Harrison County Narcotics Task Force in 1998. He was assigned to the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team in 2000 and became a task force agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. In 2003, he was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Gulf Coast High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, as a DEA task force agent. He was promoted to investigator lieutenant in 2008 and assigned as the officer in charge of Harrison County Narcotics Division. In 2012, he graduated from the Drug Unit Commanders Academy at DEA Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. In 2012, he was promoted to director over the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team by the Coastal Chiefs of Police and the Harrison County sheriff.

He retired in 2015 as the captain over both task forces to run for sheriff of Harrison County.

He is married and has one daughter.

Chief Deputy Ron Pullen

Graduated from Biloxi High School in 1975 and later attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, majoring in criminal justice. Joined the Biloxi Police Department in 1992. Graduated from the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy in 1994 and began working for the Gulfport Police Department, where he was promoted from patrol to detective sergeant.

Was hired by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department in 2000 as a lieutenant in charge of the criminal investigations division. Was promoted to rank of captain in 2004. Was promoted to major of operations in 2009, overseeing patrol, criminal investigations, narcotics and several other divisions.

Is married and has two sons, a daughter and two granddaughters.

Major of Operations Thomas Clifford Jr.

Began his law enforcement career in 1988, starting as a reserve deputy.

Experience includes commanding a patrol shift and other duties to include teaching at the Harrison County Reserve Academy and the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Has an associate's degree in applied science from MGCCC, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master's degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

Was inducted into the Order of the Sword and Shield Professional and Academic Honor Society from St. John's University in New York in 2013.

Is employed part time at MGCCC, teaching classes in criminal investigations and homeland security.

Has three daughters.

Major of Training Louis Elias

Graduated from Long Beach High School and the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy, attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and University of Southern Mississippi, majoring in criminal justice.

He is state-certified law enforcement officer since 1994. Experience includes positions of patrol officer, K-9 handler, shift supervisor, investigator, and training academy coordinator. Was promoted to captain in 2014 and named director of Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy. Promoted to major in 2016 and will oversee training for sheriff's department.

He is married and has two children.

Senior Captain of Operations Phil Marr

Graduated from Slidell High in 1985 and attended college at MGCCC, the University of Southern Miss and the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, majoring in criminal justice.

Began his law enforcement career in 1989 with the sheriff's office as a corrections officer.

After graduating in 1994 from Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer's Basic Academy, was transferred to the county's patrol division. In 1996, was promoted to sergeant and to lieutenant in 2003.

In 2009, was promoted to the rank of captain in charge of the patrol division, which includes the subdivisions of patrol operations, animal control, school resource, K-9, and advanced accident investigation.

He has two daughters and two granddaughters.

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