Hattiesburg Mayor announces nomination for Police Chief

Hattiesburg Mayor announces nomination for Police Chief
Photo credit: WDAM
Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Mayor announced a familiar name as his nomination for Hattiesburg Police Chief on Tuesday.

Mayor Toby Barker named current Police Chief Anthony Parker as his nomination during an announcement held on the steps of City Hall. Barker also announced Parker's selection for new Assistant Chief as retired Captain Peggy Sealy, who was approved on Monday by civil service.

"I am pleased to re-appoint Chief Anthony Parker as Hattiesburg's police chief," Barker said. "Our department is moving in a positive direction, and with his steady demeanor, strength of character and ability to empower those around him, we will continue to see the renaissance of both the Hattiesburg Police Department and City of Hattiesburg."

When Mayor Barker first took office, online applications were accepted for every director's position, including the police chief. The Tuesday announcement confirms that Parker will stay on as Chief.

"The last four months prove how dedicated Mayor Barker is to growing our police department in manpower numbers and in the arena of community policing," Parker said. "These two things match up with my core values and policing philosophies. I'm humbled and honored that he is choosing me to continue leading an organization with a strong legacy of excellence."

Parker was sworn in as HPD Police Chief in August 2015 by former Mayor Johnny Dupree. He has 35 years of combined law enforcement experience with state and local government.

Parker graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974 and became a Mississippi State Trooper in December of 1982, according to his bio on the City of Hattiesburg website. Parker retired from MHP in 2009 as a Master Sergeant in the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Division. After retirement, Parker worked as a patrolman with the Crystal Springs Police Dept.

Sealy started with the department in 1988 and retired as Captain. She will now help lead the department after being nominated as second assistant police chief beginning on Dec. 1.

The Hattiesburg City Council approved a new Assistant Chief position on Oct. 17, 2017, with a salary of $75,340.  The temporary position will be in place until the current Assistant Police Chief, Frank Misenhelter, retires next year.

"I am looking forward to working with both Chief Parker and Mayor Barker to help lead a department I've spent my entire career with," Sealy said. "It's an honor to work with and serve the citizens of Hattiesburg, once again."

"Peggy is a great addition to our team," Parker said. "She'll be at the forefront of our public relations and community policing efforts. And, her ability to guide and motivate young officers into reaching their own potential will only add to the breadth of our department's capabilities."

The chief of police nomination will be voted on at the Hattiesburg City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 21.