Tupelo moves ahead with Hall appeal

TUPELO – The city will appeal a decision not to recertify Deputy Police Chief Robert Hall, the mayor and police chief said Thursday.
Police Chief Tony Carleton said the city had officially been notified that the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training had rejected the city’s initial application to have Hall recertified, which would give him full police powers.
“We are entitled to a hearing,” Carleton said in a news release, “and we have full intentions of following through with this process.”
The board’s denial had been reported earlier this week, but Carleton and Mayor Jack Reed Jr. withheld comment until they received official word from the board.
Reed also issued a statement that said the city would continue its effort to have Hall recertified. “This is a process,” the mayor said. “We will take the next step because our city is a safer place with Robert Hall on our team.”
The Board of Standards and Training will meet Sept. 9 and then again in November. It is unknown if the city will present Hall’s case at one of those meetings.
If he fails to regain his certificate after appealing to the Board of Standards and Training, the city can take its case to Chancery Court.
Hall lost his certification when he resigned from the department in 2007 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges.
He was rehired in March as deputy chief. Questions were raised then about Hall’s lack of certification, but Carleton and Reed argued that he didn’t need it because he was operating in an administrative capacity.
This debate resumed recently when some City Council members, who have no authority over police department hiring but control the city budget, raised concerns about the lack of certification.
Without certification, Hall has no arrest powers.
Efforts to contact Hall for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.
Contact Michael Tonos at (662) 678-1605 or michael.tonos@djouranl.com. Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Michael Tonos and Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal