djr-2020-01-09-news-tpd-clayton-arp1

A file phone of Deputy Chief Jackie Clayton. Outgoing Mayor Jason Shelton on Monday afternoon announced that he was appointing Clayton as interim police chief at the request of Mayor-elect Todd Jordan.

TUPELO • Outgoing Mayor Jason Shelton on Monday afternoon announced he will appoint Deputy Chief Jackie Clayton as the interim chief of the Tupelo Police Department until a permanent chief can be named.

Shelton told the Daily Journal at an agenda review meeting of the Tupelo City Council that incoming-Mayor Todd Jordan requested Clayton be temporarily appointed to the position effective July 1.

“This is through conversations with Mayor-elect Todd Jordan and his transition team,” Shelton said at the agenda review. “I’m going to make this nomination at Mayor-elect Jordan’s request.”

The Tupelo City Council will vote on Tuesday night to either confirm or reject Clayton’s temporary appointment.

Chief Bart Aguirre announced last month that he would be retiring from the department effective June 30.

Jordan, in a written statement to the Daily Journal, said Clayton has worked for the police department for more than 40 years and has worked his way up through the ranks.

“I support Mayor Shelton’s decision to name him as the Interim Chief,” Jordan said. “We look forward to beginning the formal process of hiring our next Chief of Police in July.”

Clayton will not be in the running to be the permanent chief because he is retiring at the end of the year.

Clayton first joined the police department in August 1979. Since then, he has been a patrolman, a shift captain and a major of operations. He became one of the department’s two deputy police chiefs in January 2020.

Clayton said he counts it “as an honor to be asked” to temporarily serve as chief and that he intends to meet with the bulk of the police department at some point to discuss operations of the police department.

“Over the next two weeks, I’m going to try and learn all I can about some of the operations I’m not familiar with,” Clayton said. “I plan to keep things going steady.”

Clayton said he intends to rely on fellow deputy chief Anthony Hill as he temporarily serves as the interim chief.

Jordan will be sworn in as the city’s next mayor on July 1. He has repeatedly said he wants to utilize some form of an independent task force to aid him in appointing the next police chief.

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