Picayune PD’s integrity officer

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

Picayune’s Police Department has a new kind of officer on duty, a Public Integrity Officer.

Chief Jim Luke announced Tuesday morning that he is promoting Investigator Constance Myers to Commander of the department’s Public Integrity Division. Luke said establishing that position is part of  maintaining the department’s status of being nationally accredited.

Myers’ new duties will include handling any and all complaints that are filed against department officrs and other personnel, Luke said. He said creating the division will help ensure trust between the community and the department. Any complaints filed with the department will be handled by her, and once the investigation is complete, the complainant will receive a prompt response concerning the outcome of the investigation.

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Myers will work on all internal complaints filed, and will report directly to Luke concerning those complaints, the chief said. Results of internal investigations will be presented to Luke for his inspection.

If needed, Myers also can assist the City Manager with any suspected criminal activity concerning any city employee, Luke said.

Luke said he chose Myers for the position based on her previous education, training and moral and ethical standing. She has been employed with the department for more than five years and will continue to work as a domestic violence investigator in addition to her new duties.

“It’s a very big hat to fill, but I think I’m capable,” Myers said.

As part of the new position, Myers said she attended a week-long, 40,hour course where she represented the smallest department in attendance. Other officers attending the course represented departments consisting of 300 or more officers, she said. The training focused on following policies and procedures, conducting timely and thorough investigations into complaints and on how to report findings, she said.

Her new job is important to maintaining the trust between the community and the department, she said. Myers said she wants community members to feel they can file any complaint and that complaint will be handled in a timely manner.

Luke said Myers’ new position is important to holding the department’s high standard of values and integrity.