Jackson County

Moss Point doesn’t have a new police chief after all

What was old was supposed to be new again at Moss Point, but it appears a reunion with former Police Chief Keith Davis was not meant to be.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced Friday that Davis has opted to remain with the agency as the Chief of Marine Patrol. He was originally announced as the next police chief following the Feb. 12 Board of Aldermen meeting.

“Chief Davis and Moss Point were not able to come to an agreement,” MDMR director Joe Spraggins said. “He will remain the chief of Marine Patrol for this agency.”

Friday afternoon Moss Point Mayor Mario King did not return requests for comment but did post the following message to his personal Facebook page:

“Moss Point, lift your heads up! We must continue on, REMEMBER, my loyalty is to you as citizens. We still are working with several agencies to protect our community lead by our own. You all are strong and must remember Moss Point belongs to us and it’s our job to protect, serve, and value our city. City of Moss Point - Government we must continue on and thank Keith Davis for the consideration and move forward in our search.”

King later posted a Facebook Live video to expand on what happened with Davis. King specifically elaborated on concerns that kept Davis from rejoining the city of Moss Point. He said it was a culture issue and not a holdup with the chief’s potential salary.

Davis replied in the comments section, saying he’ll “help anyway possible” with Moss Point moving forward — just not in an official capacity as chief.

How’d we get here?

While addressing the community and media gathered at the Feb. 12 meeting, Davis said it wasn’t an easy decision to leave his post at the DMR but he was inspired by a famous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech.

In King’s “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech, Davis said, “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.”

High turnover

Friday’s news is just the latest setback in the Moss Point Police Department.

Davis was set to replace Calvin Hutchins, who left Moss Point to head up the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s law enforcement. Hutchins replaced Art McClung, who was fired in 2016.

McClung, in turn, replaced Davis in 2014 after he left, citing a “deteriorating” relationship with former Mayor Billy Broomfield.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs