Former cop takes spot on Civil Service Commission

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

A retired Vicksburg police captain officially took his place on the Civil Service Commission Wednesday afternoon.

Clyde Harris, 63, one of Vicksburg’s first black police officers, was sworn in by Mayor Robert Walker before the commission’s monthly meeting began.

Harris, who was nominated by Walker, took the place of former commission chairman James Rucker, whose six-year term ended Dec. 1.

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“I think it went very well today,” Harris said after the meeting. ” I think this is going to be very interesting and very challenging, but I can handle it.”

Harris, who once ran VPD’s internal affairs and patrol divisions, retired in June 1999 after 31 years.

“I’m not used to being on this side of the table, but I want to get a few meetings under my belt before I decide how it feels,” Harris said.

Joe Graham, who was appointed to his post two years ago by Alderman Sam Habeeb, was named the new chairman of the commission.

Linda Sweezer, who has been on the commission for three years, passed on the chairman position. She was next in line because of her seniority. Sweezer was appointed by Alderman Gertrude Young.

“I just felt I wouldn’t have the time to do it,” Sweezer said.

The commissioners are charged with many duties, all focused on job performance of Vicksburg fire and police officers. Many meetings are routine, dominated by issues of approving tests and hiring lists. Others are contentious, especially when political interference with officers is alleged.

Wednesday, the commission approved placing Ronald Dominique on the employment list for the Vicksburg Police Department. That action came after a 20-minute closed session.