Shelbourn Talks about Retirement

Meridian Police Chief Lee Shelbourn announced his retirement late Wednesday. He has been chief in Meridian for three years but has a long law enforcement resume.

With 42 years invested, Shelbourn says the decision to retire was strictly for personal reasons.

"I have heard that the mayor's running me off. I have heard that the CAO and myself got into a disagreement. I've heard so much and that has absolutely nothing to do with it," Shelbourn said.

Shelbourn says his decision to retire is strictly based on family.

"I've got a 5-year-old grandson I want to spend time with, and I guess that's the most important thing in my life," he said. "I want to make sure that he's got a quality life; making sure that he's got a male in his life, a mentor that would direct him in the right direction."

Just months away from turning 65, Shelbourn says he's proud of what the department has accomplished since he arrived three years ago.

While working here, Chief Shelbourn says he has no regrets. He says that records from April show that, overall, crime numbers within the city are the lowest they've been since 2007.

"We've got some awfully big shoes to fill," said Mayor Cheri Barry,

Barry says she will ask Shelbourn for input in the search for his replacement. However, the chief says that input will be limited.

"I have no preference. I'm not going to put any names on her desk," Shelbourn said.

'We'll move the process along very quickly," said Barry. "There's no sense in waiting. We have good police officers that we'll be looking at and two good assistant chiefs. If we have to go outside the community we'll do that. It is wide open."

At this time, Barry says a deadline to appoint a new chief has not been set.

Shelbourn was previously chief of the Petal Police Department. Before that, he spent 26 years training officers for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Ten of those years were spent at the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

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  • by Rosebud Location: Meridian on Jun 9, 2012 at 09:35 PM
    His good friend Dennis Hobson was fired from being Chief of the Lumberton Police department-maybe he is applying for that job, since he will in the neighborhood.
  • by Kim Location: Meridian on Jun 8, 2012 at 04:00 PM
    He hasn't done anything sense he been in office. So Good Bye
  • by cw on Jun 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    M MCdonald check,L Shelbourn check,C Barry ?..soon,CITY COUNCIL--ASAP,please.. the true cause of Meridians political problems and BAD decisions. VOTE THEM OUT.
  • by Inside Information on Jun 8, 2012 at 09:59 AM
    After that long in law enforcement he's entitled to retire. How many people ever work in a high stress occupation like his, or any occupation that long? Also, for those who don't know him, he's very family oriented-He's even encouraged his officers to spend more time with their own families because that's what's important. I know I'd never work that many years in a thankless job like law enforcement where you're constantly bashed by the press and badmouthed by idiots who don't know you or even remotely understand law enforcement. If any of you think you can even do that job, much less do it better...Go for it! Time to put up or shut up!
    • reply
      by Stay Inside on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM in reply to Inside Information
      As long as people are served by police, they can speak how they want about the police. If you don't like it, find a new line of work yourself. It is called free speech, which apparently isn't a fan of Inside Information.
      • reply
        by Inside Information on Jun 11, 2012 at 08:51 AM in reply to Stay Inside
        @ Stay Inside-(It is called free speech, "which apparently isn't a fan of Inside Information."?) Not exactly sure how free speech isn't a fan of mine. Go back and reread what I said. I never said anything about being against free speech. Everyone has that right, no matter how misguided or ignorant the comment is. Perhaps a more appropriate quote would be: If any of you think you can even do that job, much less do it better...Go for it! Put your money, body, whatever where your mouth is.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 8, 2012 at 07:44 AM
    Whenever you hear statements such as "I want to spend more time with my famiy", there's more to the story. Of course they are not going to tell the entire story, but choose to attempt to "pacify" the public with blanket statements that have no merit. He'll probably move back to Petal and take on a new job. Also, in the initial report, the mayor said she would not be in a hurry to hire another chief. Now she's saying they already have potential candidates. Can you be any more obvious?
  • by Kim Location: Meridian on Jun 8, 2012 at 07:09 AM
    He hasn't done anything sense he been in office. So Good Bye
  • by Amazed on Jun 8, 2012 at 05:26 AM
    I can't believe you people! Lee Shelbourn was the best thing to happen to MPD in a long time. Hey Anonymous, there haven't been more crimes, it's just that people were actually INFORMED of them since Shelbourn became chief. If the public knows about the crime happening, maybe they'll choose to do something to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. You know, like mouthing off over a computer about stuff they know nothing about.
    • reply
      by Not Amazed on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM in reply to Amazed
      Typical response from a cop. The public gets tired of doing the job of the police. The police obviously don't have the confidence of the public, so they are stuck with the job. Where is the community policing? No, that stuff beyond Mike Vick tootin' his own horn after losing his job with the state. (That is one reason people don't trust the cops, the cops are bogus.) The real community policing that gets the police department the support it needs. It isn't there. It was much stronger when Dubose was there.
    • reply
      by numbers on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM in reply to Amazed
      put the stats out and lets just see about the crime
  • by ANONYMOUS Location: MERIDIAN on Jun 8, 2012 at 05:26 AM
    According to the call volume at the 911 center crime is not down. You cannot fool all the Citizens of Meridian.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 8, 2012 at 01:09 AM
    didnt the mayor just say she wouldnt race to find another chief??? she's quoted as saying the process will be quick.....(and mississippi had the nerve to bring new beer into town-JUST what the mayor needs!)
  • by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2012 at 08:28 PM
    I'd like to see those crime numbers. Saying that is easy. Let's see them published.
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