Funeral for decorated police chaplain is today

Traffic on Popp’s Ferry Road may be delayed this afternoon for the funeral procession of longtime Police Chaplain Robert Burriss.

Burris, a former Biloxi police investigator and chaplain, died last week after battling cancer. Visitation will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Biloxi on Popp’s Ferry Road followed by a service and a funeral procession to the Biloxi National Cemetery for interment at 2:30 p.m.

Burriss joined the Biloxi Police Department in March 1978 as a patrolman and retired in April 2006 as an investigator. He continued to serve with the department as chaplain until his death on Dec. 29. Burriss also served in military law enforcement with the Air Force for 20 years before joining the Biloxi Police Department.

During his tenure with the BPD, Burriss became recognized as one of the top crime scene investigators in the Southeast and assisted numerous local, state, and federal agencies with case analysis. He received many awards in recognition of his vast knowledge and experience, including being named the Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for Mississippi.

“Robert was deeply respected by his brother and sister officers and his former City of Biloxi co-workers,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, who is in Jackson today. “He is called by many names — Inspector, Chaplain, Bob, Robert, Larry — but all who knew him, called him friend. He will be missed.”

News & notes: Twelfth night, weekly report

Twelfth Night celebration: Biloxi and the Gulf Coast will officially usher in the Mardi Gras season tonight with a parade and outdoor celebration. The gathering will begin at 5 p.m. at the Biloxi Visitors Center and parade to Biloxi City Hall at 6:30 p.m. for a celebration.

Weekly report: Get the behind-the-scenes details on the week that was in Biloxi. Weekly reports from the departments of Police, Fire and Community Development are online for review. To see the reports from last week and an archive of weekly reports, click here.