Council delays considering police chief appointment

Members of the Biloxi City Council this evening rejected Mayor A.J. Holloway’s request to consider the naming of Linda Atterberry as director of the Biloxi Police Department, but Holloway said he stood by the appointment and hoped for a timely confirmation.

Council members voted 6-1 against adding the item to the agenda. “This is just a little too quick for me,” said Council member Tom Wall, who made the motion against adding the issue to the agenda. Council member Clark Griffith was the lone vote in favor of considering the appointment Tuesday night.

Atterberry, 59, is a 35-year law enforcement veteran, including 15 years with the Biloxi Police Department, where she worked her way through the ranks before being named acting director in May. She also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and had served as the city’s Emergency Management coordinator.

She was the recommendation of a committee of law enforcement and community leaders who reviewed the more than three dozen applicants to replace Police Chief Bruce Dunagan, who retired in May.

Holloway had told council members earlier today that he planned to ask that the council vote on the Atterberry nomination at their 6 p.m. meeting. In fact, one of the five-member committee that recommended Atterberry to Holloway was in the City Hall audience to report on the committee’s findings.

“I’m confident that any questions from the City Council will be answered,” Holloway said later Tuesday night. “I was surprised, actually, that they didn’t add this to the agenda. Linda is the recommendation of the committee, and I support that recommendation.”