Holloway chooses Atterberry as police chief

Mayor A.J. Holloway announced today that he wants Linda Atterberry to serve as director of the Biloxi Police Department on a permanent basis. Linda Atterberry

Atterberry is a 15-year veteran of the police department and has served as acting director since May. She had previously served as the city’s Emergency Management coordinator and is a former Long Beach assistant chief of police.

Holloway will ask the City Council to confirm the promotion this evening. Atterberry was recommended to the mayor by a group of law enforcement and community leaders who reviewed top applicants.

“I think Linda will do an outstanding job in leading the Biloxi Police Department,” Holloway said. “We had three dozen applicants for this position, and the committee graded each of the top applicants, looking at their experience and ability. I agree with the recommendation.”

Atterberry, 59, joined the Biloxi Police Department 15 years ago as an investigator. She was previously assistant chief of police in Long Beach and also had served as chief of detectives with that department. With Biloxi, she was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant and captain, and for the past nine years has served as the city’s Emergency Management coordinator.

Members of the committee who reviewed applications and interviewed top candidates were Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara; former Biloxi Police Chief Edward L. “Ed” Ryan; former Biloxi City Councilman Eric Dickey; Steve Brooks, executive vice president of Roy Anderson Corp.; and Jill Middleton, the city’s human resources manager.

Holloway had appointed Atterberry as acting director when Bruce Dunagan retired in May, and had initially said the acting director would not be a candidate for the position.

The mayor followed a procedure that has worked successfully in the past in selecting a new permanent director: the city advertised the position in-house and regionally and a panel of community leaders recommended to him the top candidate for the position.