Natchez police chief says he is retiring Monday

Published 8:13 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

NATCHEZ — Natchez Police Chief Daniel White said Friday evening that he plans to retire effective Monday.

The move comes after a motion was made to terminate White at a specially called Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting Thursday. The board ultimately decided to defer action on the matter until its regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting. The motion was made by Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier, chair of the city’s police committee, who cited concerns about a lack of discipline at the department.

White and the police department have faced increased scrutiny in recent months following a series of robberies, burglaries and other crimes that led to public complaints from residents at recent aldermen meetings. White said most of those cases have been solved, and the department is working diligently to solve the other cases.

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White’s retirement announcement also follows ethical questions recently raised by city officials about the employment of White’s son Devin White at the department and possible conflicts with state law regarding the matter.

When asked Friday about his son remaining employed at the department, White first said that the hiring had been approved by the board of aldermen. After further questions about conflicts with state law, White said he would be retiring, because “Devin is my son.” White further elaborated that he did not want his employment to interfere with Devin’s opportunity to be a Natchez police officer.

Mayor Darryl Grennell said White had not informed him of his plans to retire, and the board of aldermen would likely need to meet Monday to appoint an interim chief if White’s retirement is to be effective Monday.