Former Petal Police Chief Named As Meridian Chief Pick

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Newscenter Eleven has confirmed with several sources close to the situation that Lee Shelbourn will be picked by Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry to serve as police chief. Shelbourn was let go by the city of Petal after a new mayor and board were elected earlier this year.

He has a reputation in local law enforcement circles as a straight shooter with a ton of experience.

Mayor Barry would not confirm that Shelbourn is her pick, but she did discuss why she decided to move in a different leadership direction.

Cheri Barry says Chief Benny Dubose has done an outstanding job for the last 29 years, but she's ready to move forward with a new vision and a new person in charge.

"My decision was based on the citizens needs. I want to make sure they are safe and I want to bring more vision," said Barry.

The chief Thursday told us he is resigning, and the mayor says she appreciates his decision. However, she says she had asked that he retire.

"He came into my office and I asked him to retire. When he left he told me he would help with the transition period and that he would help me the best he could, said Barry.

Both the police and fire departments will be subject to rigorous written and physical testing. Barry says the police department will conduct more community policing.

Both the fire and police chief appointments will be announced by Mayor Barry during Tuesday's city council meeting. All appointments will require city council approval.

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  • by Meridian own Location: Meridian on Sep 24, 2009 at 04:43 PM
    Cheri Barry is too small to tell such huge lies
  • by M T Location: Meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    I have one main area of concern, why was the new relieved from his position as chief of the Petal police dept. I feel that this should be public knowledge. I've heard others say that the mayor is being criticized because of her gender. However the former mayor re- cieved his share of criticism. I was one of his major critics. I also agree that we should stop going out of town to find people. There are qualified people in our community. Seeing that so many have left Meridian be- cause they could not find a good job, I think that we should do all we can to keep them here. Meridian will not move forward as long as it is primarily a retirement community. We need young and old.
  • by Chet Location: Meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 04:16 PM
    It is time to get off the Black vs White issue. Let's hope that the Mayor's appointment for Police Chief will bring major changes in the crime rate for everyone in Meridian. We need a safe environment, not a color sensitive representation of the community. I only hope that her next replacement is to name a new Head of Public Works. Mr. Jackson is still allowing raw sewage to run into Sowashee Creek just south of the 29th Ave bridge, next to the RR trestle. This has been reported to him for the last 3 years. He and his underling, a Mr. Dean, have yet to do anything about this problem.
  • by Kenneth Location: Russell on Sep 14, 2009 at 04:13 PM
    I believe Chief Dubose was doing a fine job as police chief. If Mayor Barry believed that he should be replaced, then why not promote someone from within the department to fill his position, instead of going out-of-town for a new chief.
  • by the truth Location: meridian ms on Sep 14, 2009 at 03:25 PM
    it doesnt matter who the cheif is, their just a puppet for da mayor duh
  • by Erik Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 14, 2009 at 03:19 PM
    How can ms barry bring new jobs to meridian jobs for the citizen when she is taking jobs away from meridian citizens? Does she not believe in MPD, and has she look to promote one of our own?
  • by Mac Location: Meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    I also heard that he kicks puppies and wears white after Labor Day. You people are hilarious. Keep up the comedic comments.
  • by Meridian Burning Again Location: Meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 09:08 AM
    To Wake Up Meridian-what do you know that we don't? I have heard he is/was an active member of the KKK. Is this true? If so, he'll fit in well in Meridian. After all, Meridian is the melting pot and meeting spot of the KKK. Does anyone know if there is a sale on white sheets this week?
  • by b Location: meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 08:57 AM
    As a black supporter of Mayor Barry I am a bit dissappointed in her choices for Police and Fire Chief. Her choice for Police Chief is a reminder of what the Police use to stand for in Ms.,we need a younger,more intune chief whether he or she be black or white. Nothing against the fire chief nominee,but when you retire that means you no longer want to work. Madam Mayor put cotton in both ears,stay true to what you campaigned on and don't try to please Republicans or Democrats, blacks or whites. Meridian needs a LEADER and you can do the job no doubt. Give some deserving person from MFD a chance.Form a committee and pick you a Police Chief(not from Meridian).
  • by Bob Location: Meridian on Sep 14, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    It's funny how no matter what race gets elected or appointed, it's always a race issue. We always talk about moving on, but some people can't let it go. It seems to be a crutch for some who have nothing else to say. I personally don't care what race you are as long as you are qualified and will do the job. Also, I believe that if you do your homework, you will see that Mrs. Barry has a panel of both races that is screening the candidates for appointments.
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