Police veteran Atterberry appointed acting chief of Biloxi Police

Mayor A.J. Holloway announced today that he is appointing Linda Atterberry, the city’s Emergency Management coordinator and a former Long Beach assistant chief of police, to serve as acting chief of the Biloxi Police Department.

Linda Atterberry

Holloway made the announcement this afternoon to a room of police officers at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center. Atterberry will temporarily replace Bruce Dunagan, who is retiring from the department.

The mayor said that he would follow a procedure that has worked successfully in the past in selecting a new permanent director: the city would advertise the position in-house and regionally and a panel of community leaders would recommend to him the top candidates for the position.

”I expect to have this process accomplished in a matter of weeks, not months,” Holloway told the two dozen or so officers assembled in a briefing room at the Lopez-Quave center.
Meantime, the mayor said, Atterberry has his “full support and confidence to guide this department in the interim.”

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.

Full text of mayor’s announcement

Here is the full text of Mayor A.J. Holloway’s announcement of Linda Atterberry as the acting chief of the Biloxi Police Department.

Good afternoon.

I am here today to announce the process of naming a new director of the Biloxi Police Dept.

As I have successfully done in the past, we will advertise in-house and throughout the region to seek applicants for this important position.

I will appoint a committee of community leaders to recommend the top candidates from the field of applicants.

I expect to have this process accomplished in a matter of weeks, not months.

When I first became mayor 16 years ago, one of the many challenges I faced was to restore respect and integrity to the Biloxi Police Department.

Since that time, we have invested a great deal of time, money and effort in raising our hiring standards, providing training and better pay and benefits, and taking overall steps to improve the image of this department with the public, with neighboring agencies, and with state and federal partners.

Today, I am proud to say that we have the best-trained, best-equipped and best paid police department you’ll find.

That is a credit to the men and women who work in this building.

The first step in the process is to appoint an acting director of the police department. This person will not be a candidate for the director’s position, but it is someone who has my full support and confidence to guide this department in the interim.

It is someone who has law-enforcement management experience, someone who is familiar with the internal policies and workings of the Biloxi Police Department, and it is someone who has worked in the Biloxi Police Department for a number of years.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you acting Police Chief Linda Atterberry.