James Reed, 57, has been confirmed as police chief by the Meridian City Council.
He was recently appointed to the position by Mayor Cheri Barry.
Former chief, Lee Shelbourn, retired June 30.
Surrounded by family, friends, even two of his former football coaches from college, Reed received unanimous approval from the city council.
"His credentials, his reputation, a young guy coming back home," said council president, Dr. George Thomas. "I don't guess he's that young anymore, but a person coming back home. You saw the community support here this morning. I don't think we've ever had that kind of support for any appointment that the mayor has ever made."
"I have no concerns about this chief," Mayor Cheri Barry said. "He has gone through federal law enforcement training. He will do whatever is necessary to bring his credentials up to date for the state of Mississippi. I'm just very pleased that he has accepted this position and is going to help us grow and change Meridian."
Reed was one of eight people interviewed for the job. He says he's prepared to hit the ground running.
"Certainly I will take time to review what's being done," said Reed. "I will get with the leaders, the assistant chiefs of the Meridian Police Department and determine what is the best practice for the Meridian Police Department and we will move forward together."
Reed is a Meridian native and a 1972 MHS graduate. He later graduated from the University of Mississippi where he also was a star athlete.
During his 35-year law enforcement career, Reed has worked as an analyst and investigator with the Mississippi Department of Justice and as a probation and parole officer for the state of Mississippi. He's a retired supervisory special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Reed will be sworn in Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m. at Meridian City Hall Auditorium.