Lewis Appointed Assistant Police Chief

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

An appointment has been made for the position of assistant police chief in Meridian.

Mayor Cheri Barry and Police Chief Lee Shelbourn announced that veteran officer Jeff Lewis would be the new second-in-command at the department.

Lewis was was promoted to that job at the end of former mayor John Robert Smith's tenure, then demoted after Barry took office.

"When I became mayor, I said how important the police department was to my office and it was going to be one my top priorities, and it still is," said Barry.

For the last several months, the administration has been working with Chief Lee Shelbourn to fill the assistant chief position, but this time the six people applying had to take a written exam. With testing complete, Capt. Jeff Lewis has now been given his job back.

"I encourage Capt. Lewis to look at the challenges before him as an opportunity to ensure that the citizens who live in this beautiful city will continue to feel that it is a place that they want to live and raise their children," said Barry.

"It's exciting," said Lewis. "I'm up to the challenges. I think the mayor has several good visions and that's the way we are all headed."

"It was an extensive placement to pick this position. An extremely, extremely important position," Shelbourn said.

Not only was the written test considered, but the candidates went through oral interviews conducted by outside agencies, and their past performance was also reviewed.

"I had to look at every aspect of these officers, look at their backgrounds, their careers and what they have contributed to the city of Meridian," said the chief.

"We reviewed the MPD evaluation procedure for promotions," said Barry. "We decided the past procedures could not show the best choices because key components were missing."

Assistant Chief Lewis says his initial goal is to create unity within the department, a goal the chief says falls in line with his plans for the department.

"The reason I chose Capt. Lewis, he has a 27-year tour of duty in Meridian. All of his evaluations have been exceptional," said Shelbourn. "He comes out tops on the written exam. Again, the totality of the circumstances and what he can contribute is immeasurable."

Lewis is a Meridian native and graduated from Meridian High School in 1977.
He has been with the MPD since 1981. He previously served as captain of operations.

The assistant chief promotion is effective immediately.


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 26, 2009 at 01:19 PM
    Loretta is the type of people that use to run this city and now runs the federal government all see how they run things..
  • by L Location: Meridian on Dec 26, 2009 at 07:00 AM
    Congratulations to Assistant Chief Jeff Lewis. You deserved it and will do the best job. You should have NEVER been demoted and that is now proved. Keep up the good work and again CONGRATULATIONS !
  • by sally Location: lauderdale on Dec 25, 2009 at 05:49 PM
    Loretta honey you need an education or atleast good grammer. you have no right to criticize anyone and you are an embarassment to the human race. if in fact you did attend school, please save that school the humiliation of listing their name . you are an idiot and i pray that you never a the chance to vote or my guess would be that if you have that right you didnt even use it til this past January. but that will probably go over your head as well. do everyone a favor and just shut up.....
  • by Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM
    Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM am sure you reported it to 911 so you can have a reason to post this and you know for a fat this is what is going on.. and willing to testify to this crimes....
  • by Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM
    WOW, why until now ahs everyone been so interested in the police dept promotions, they should be interested in the crime that is going on in our city. I drove thru down town and saw the crowds going into Joes and Nicks and I know what those places do. Why not focus on removing the down town gambling that is done right infron tof our eyes not to mention WTOK tv
  • by Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 09:07 AM
    all of a group is held and seen by how the leader is this is a fact... no different then a country is seen by the ones in power.. you have a fool as a leader then all are seen as the fool under him.. you have one that is wise then all are seen as wise.
  • by Jackie Location: Meridian on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    As a long-term member and former officer of the local NAACP,I would like to congratulate Asst. Police Chief Lewis on attaining his new position. Throughout the years, I have heard great comments about the character and demeanor of this man. While I do not know him personally, an acquaintance recently described him as being fair and balanced. The President of the NAACP has not contacted members of our organization to discuss this appointment or to seek our approval for holding a press conference. Unless he holds a press conference to congratulate Asst. Chief Lewis, I feel any other action is unnecessary and unauthorized.
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Dec 23, 2009 at 09:42 AM
    The NAACP has nothing to do with the appointment of the Asst. Police Chief. Just because we are members of this group does not mean that we all agree or disagree with each other. From my understanding it was the president who called this press conference and some of the members, if any, were not called about this by the president. Please don't criticise the entire because of the president and what HE STANDS FOR.
  • by Willie Mae Brown Location: Meridian on Dec 23, 2009 at 09:32 AM
    I would just like to say that the NAACP, as a group, HAS NOT called a press conference, it was the PRESIDENT who called it. We, as a group, has no problem with the appointment of the Asst. Police Chief(that's the Mayor's call). Good luck to Asst Chief Lewis in your new position. The NAACP is a "civil rights group" and no one's civil rights have been violated in this matter.
  • by wow Location: meridian on Dec 23, 2009 at 07:10 AM
    WTOK, how about during the NAACP press conference someone ask why they didnt release a statement when the white fire chief was replaced by a black one or when a black female was named to the school board. WTOK just gives them an open mike with no accountability, shame on you WTOK
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