Long time police officer retires

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2006

After 18 years of service, a Picayune deputy police chief retired shortly after rumors of his involvement in an altercation circulated around the city.
Rumors of whether Deputy Chief Tom Milar was involved in an altercation with another officer around the time of the department’s accreditation ceremony that took place Dec. 1 could not be unsubstantiated during talks with Picayune Police Chief Jim Luke.
Luke said he would neither deny nor confirm the rumors that the altercation occurred, but did say, “It was before the ceremony began.” He would not state where or when the altercation took place.
“But I’m not confirming there was an incident,” Luke said.
Luke also would not comment as to whether the incident involved a particular officer, but did say, “Talk to him,” referring to Brandon McLemore.
When contacted by the Picayune Item, McLemore refused to go on the record about the incident. An attempt by the Picayune Item to contact Milar for comment on the matter was unsuccessful.
Luke also would not confirm whether Milar was asked to leave the department due to the incident.
“He was not asked to leave by me,” Luke said. “I don’t even know if he was asked to leave.”
City Manager Ed Pinero said he received Milar’s resignation when he arrived at his office Tuesday. Pinero also would not comment as to whether Milar was asked to leave because of the incident.
Pinero said that Milar has sought employment in construction and that he left employment with the city to pursue that opportunity.
All the duties that Milar once had are now consolidated into the remaining Deputy Chief’s position now held by David Ervin, Pinero said. Currently, there are no plans to fill Milar’s position, he said.
“The plan is to keep the operation streamlined and David Ervin will take on the responsibility of (field operations),” Pinero said.
In his resignation letter, Milar expressed his gratitude to his fellow officers for making him feel like family during his tenure and said he will miss them.
Luke also extended a fond farewell to his former deputy chief.
“Tom has been my right arm for many years, one of the finest officers in the state of Mississippi, and will be sadly missed by this department,” Luke said.

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