TUPELO – The reality of being Tupelo’s next police chief hit Tony Carleton on Tuesday when law enforcement and other leaders teamed up to throw him a party.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson and dozens of jail employees, judges and Lee County supervisors gave Carleton an emotional sendoff.
Carleton has served as jail administrator since 2001 under Johnson. Despite being appointed to the highest position in the police department, Carleton said he was leaving his current job with mixed emotions.
“I’m very excited about my new job, but I’m very torn about leaving the people here,” said Carleton. “Sheriff Johnson has been a great friend and boss to me and I love the people who I work with. The sheriff has allowed me to grow and I thank him for that opportunity. We will be working together in the future though.”
Johnson said he was honored the new chief came from his department and he feels Carleton will do a great job as police chief.
Members of the Lee County S.W.A.T. team presented Carleton with a plaque and shoulder patches from the S.W.A.T. uniform. Carleton, the commander of the team, gave an emotional thank you to members of the team.
Carleton officially starts his new position Friday, and Johnson said Staff Sgt. Ronnie Partlow will take over as interim jail administrator until someone is hired permanently.
Partlow has served as Carleton’s second in command. He will run the day-to-day operations of the jail. Johnson said he hopes to have the position filled by the end of January.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal