Law enforcement from across the area and other well-wishers bid farewell to Lauderdale County's Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell.
Mitchell is retiring from the Sheriff's Department after a total of 26 years in law enforcement, including his time at the Meridian Police Department.
"Probably the hardest thing I've ever done," said Mitchell of leaving the Sheriff's Department. "Really harder than I thought it was. I made a lot of friends, got a lot of good people around here. Had a great career. It's really hard to do but you have to leave some time. I'm leaving it in good hands."
"I'm excited for him but I'm sad for myself and this organization and this community," said Sheriff Billy Sollie, "because he's put his heart and soul into making this organization better every day."
Mitchell will become the chief of security at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian later this month.