Warren deputy named Rolling Fork police chief

Published 12:01 pm Monday, October 18, 2010

A Warren County sheriff’s deputy and former Rolling Fork police officer has been named chief of the Rolling Fork Police Department.

The five-member city board of aldermen agreed unanimously Thursday to hire Robert Taylor, a 16-year law enforcement veteran.

“We need him to correct the concerns we have,” Alderman Charles Russell said.

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“We feel like he is a strong person on policies and procedures,” added Rolling Fork Mayor James Denson, who did not have a vote in appointing Taylor. “He’ll bring lots of discipline and organization to the police department.”

Taylor, 45, was chosen from 18 applicants from across the state. He will supervise a department of seven officers and safeguard the town of around 2,500 people.

“I’ll be bringing back the standard before I left,” he said. “The community has been behind me 100 percent.”

Taylor’s appointment comes several months after Rolling Fork aldermen fired Chief Undra Williams for “technicalities and missteps in purchasing,” Denson said.

Williams, who was chief for about 10 years, was reprimanded, Denson said, but the mayor declined details.

“It was said that he didn’t go through the proper channels in the purchasing of tires,” for nearly $500 for a police cruiser, said Russell, the only alderman who chose not to vote on Williams’ termination.

Assistant Police Chief Michael Myles, who applied for the chief position, has been interim chief since June 1. Myles’ position will be determined by Taylor’s recommendation, Denson said.

Taylor began his law enforcement career in 1994 as a patrol officer with the Rolling Fork police. He joined the Warren County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 2004.

“Robert came to us with experience,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. “We saw him grow in the time that he was here. He’s always been dedicated. He was one who never minded long hours and shift work. I’m very proud of Robert.”

Taylor said he will tackle drug activity and burglaries in the small Delta town about 45 miles north of Vicksburg.

He will be confirmed at Tuesday’s city board meeting, set for 4 p.m. at City Hall, and will be sworn in before he begins his duties Nov. 4. Taylor’s salary will be between $37,000 and $40,000, Russell said. Taylor is married with children.