The unanimous vote followed meetings with Carleton by all seven council members individually before his nomination was announced last week by Reed's office.
The process used in vetting Carleton through involving the council members is not required but it was an effective decision by Reed to help ensure support for his nominee - and input from the council members about their impressions.
The individual visits mirrored the courtesy calls made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonja Sotomajor on all members of the Senate before her confirmation earlier in 2009.
The council's access also was appropriate and important because Carleton will head a department familiar with serious controversy - race-based stresses internally, a high-profile employment discrimination lawsuit which the city lost, and widely articulated claims of racial profiling by some members of the African-American community in Tupelo.
Two of the seven council members, Nettie Davis of Ward 4 and Willie Jennings of Ward 7, are African-American.
Carleton is far from a stranger to the Tupelo Police Department and the city. He served a five-year stint with the Tupelo department early in his career, soon after earning his degree in criminal justice from the University of Mississippi in 1993. Carleton, 40, is a 1988 Tupelo High School graduate.
Since 2001, he has served with the Lee County Sheriff's Department. He is a captain and is jail commander, training officer and SWAT team commander, a diverse portfolio of experience and responsibility.
We hope Carleton, the mayor and the City Council act intentionally to develop a strong spirit of mutual respect in the department and re-emphasize the importance of the department as an agent for racial reconciliation and fairness communitywide.
No other city department has higher visibility than the police, with both reputation and performance factoring heavily into the image Tupelo projects.
As with other official endeavors, the Police Department needs to be an exception to widespread national notoriety about police and racial unfairness, brutality and racial profiling.
The time is long past in Mississippi, the South and the nation when race should be any kind of negative factor. The most basic of all public services, protection, must reflect the best for the whole community.
Carleton's confirmation, as with every new leadership appointment, provides a fresh start and opportunities for improvement, the goal of every administrator and leader.