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Former Moss Point police chief Keith Davis is back

Keith Davis, chief of Marine Patrol for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, on Sunday afternoon discusses the search for D'Iberville fisherman Marc Cruso, who fell from his boat Saturday afternoon northwest of Cat Island. Cruso and his wife were returning from a fishing trip when a wave knocked him overboard, a family member said. Davis was announced Monday as Moss Point’s next police chief. He previously served in the same capacity from 2011-2014.
Keith Davis, chief of Marine Patrol for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, on Sunday afternoon discusses the search for D'Iberville fisherman Marc Cruso, who fell from his boat Saturday afternoon northwest of Cat Island. Cruso and his wife were returning from a fishing trip when a wave knocked him overboard, a family member said. Davis was announced Monday as Moss Point’s next police chief. He previously served in the same capacity from 2011-2014. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

During Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, Moss Point announced it has re-hired Keith Davis as its police chief.

Davis is a familiar name in Jackson County, as he previously served as Moss Point police chief for three years before stepping down in 2014 to work at the state Department of Marine Resources.

“This was not an easy decision. In fact, I initially told the members of the board I was not interested in the decision,” Davis said during Monday’s press conference.

He went on to elaborate that it was a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech that inspired him to give Moss Point another chance.

In King’s “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech, “He said simply I don’t want to be a good Samaritan. He went on to say I’m tired of picking up people on the Jericho Road. I’m tired of seeing people battered, bruised and bloodied, injured and jumped on along the Jericho Roads of life.

“This road is dangerous. I don’t want to pick up anyone else along the Jericho Road. I want to fix the Jericho Road. I want to pave the Jericho Road, add street lights to the Jericho Road, make the Jericho Road safe for passage for everybody.

“Moss Point, I stand with you tonight and I say lets fix this problem. I believe we can do it.”

‘The right person’

Mayor Mario King posted video of the press conference to his Facebook page.

Davis replaces Calvin Hutchins, who recently resigned to take over as chief of law enforcement for the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Hutchins replaced Art McClung, who was fired in 2016. During the gaps, Brandon Ashley has served as interim police chief.

After resigning in 2014, Davis told the Sun Herald it was due to a “deteriorating” relationship with former Mayor Billy Broomfield.

“Over the course of the last couple of weeks we’ve had some very concerning things happening in our community and we have also had some great things happen,” King said. “We’ve worked hard to get the right person in place for this position.”

Davis said he will piece together a transition team in the coming days “to hit the ground running.”

‘Squash’ the violence

Jackson County officials held a press conference last week, saying it’s time to “squash” the violence.

“Our community is better than this,” King said. “We are resilient. Our children are in trouble. Our community is hurting.

“The torturous acts of violence need to end.”

At the time, Moss Point was in the immediate aftermath of a Super Bowl party shooting that killed one man and injured another. Another fatal shooting was reported Saturday.

The homicide was the city’s fourth fatal shooting since January.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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