Carleton chosen as Tupelo police chief

TUPELO – Lee County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Tony Carleton will be nominated as Tupelo’s new police chief Tuesday.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. will recommend Carleton, 40, at Tuesday’s council meeting, and the council must vote to confirm the nomination.
If approved, Carleton will replace outgoing Chief Harold Chaffin when he retires Dec. 31.
In a statement released by the city, Carleton said, “I am deeply honored to be nominated by Mayor Reed, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with the citizens of Tupelo, Tupelo Police team, mayor, and elected officials.”
Reed said he’s “delighted with the appointment.”
“The process has been a long one, and we’ve had several excellent candidates,” the mayor said by phone from New Orleans. “I think the citizens will be well-served with Capt. Carleton’s leadership, and I’m proud to present him to the council Tuesday night.”
Each council member has been briefed about Reed’s nomination, and each has met with Carleton on a one-on-one basis, said council President Fred Pitts.
Carleton currently serves as Lee County’s jail commander, training officer and SWAT team commander.
He graduated from Tupelo High School in 1988 and went on to Hinds Community College and then the University of Mississippi, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1993.
The next year, he launched his law enforcement career with the Mississippi State University Police Department. And the year after that, Carleton graduated from Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy.
He then joined the Tupelo Police Department as a patrol officer, then a staff instructor at its police academy, then a Special Operations Group member.
In 1999, Carleton left for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department before returning to Tupelo as a training officer with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department in 2001. He has been with that department ever since.
Carleton is married to wife Adelli. The couple has two sons and one daughter.
His current boss, Sheriff Jim Johnson, was unavailable for comment Friday.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

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