Hall heads to Jackson to seek certificate

By DANZA JOHNSON / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Police Chief Tony Carleton says he’s confident that Thursday’s meeting with the Board of Standards and Training will result in Robert Hall regaining his law enforcement certification.
Deputy Police Chief Hall will take the second step in an attempt to regain his law enforcement certificate when he pleads his case to the 10-person board at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Hall’s application to have his certification restored was denied by the board in August. It was revoked in 2007 after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges after releasing a drunken driver in a 2006 incident. He was rehired by the Tupelo Police Department this year.
Carleton, who will be accompanying Hall to the hearing at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl, said he expects good results from the hearing.
“We are looking forward to Deputy Chief Hall’s certificate being reissued,” Carleton said.
Because his request for his certificate was denied when first applied for in the summer, Hall does not have arrest powers and works strictly in an administrative role.
Amory Police Chief Ronnie Bowen, chairman of the Board of Standards and Training, said Hall’s case will be the first of three cases to be heard Thursday. According to Bowen, it could go as quickly as 15 minutes or as long as a few hours.
First, the state will present its evidence as to why Hall’s certification was denied. Then, Hall or his attorney will present their case as to why he should receive the certificate.
A court reporter will log the proceedings, which are conducted under sworn testimony.
If Hall fails to regain his certificate during the hearing, the final step in the process will be for the case to be heard in Circuit Court.
Initially Carleton and Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. said Hall’s role with the department did not require him to be certified because it was a non-enforcement role. But state law requires law enforcement officers to be certified by the Board of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training within two years of holding that position. The certificate proves all training and policy requirements have been met.
Without it, a person has no arrest powers and agencies have no right to pay them as law enforcement officers.
Until Hall obtains state law enforcement certification, some City Council members want him demoted to a trainee officer, which would result in a $30,000-a-year pay cut to his $59,000 annual salary.