A fulfilling career: Longtime Poplarville Police Chief retiring

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2015

After serving 20 years as the Poplarville Police Chief, Charlie Fazende will retire on Dec. 31.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

After serving 20 years as the Poplarville Police Chief, Charlie Fazende will retire on Dec. 31.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

On Dec. 31, the city of Poplarville and the Poplarville Police Department will bid farewell to longtime Chief Charlie Fazende.
Even though he was born and raised in New Orleans, Fazende spent a good bit of his childhood in Logtown, one of the communities that became part of the John C. Stennis Space Center.
“My mother was actually born where the test stand physically stands at Stennis,” Fazende said. “I learned how to ride a two-wheel bike in Logtown. It was always home to me.”
During the early 1970s, Fazende began working in the Louisiana oil fields with an oil field supply company. When he left there, he became a salesman and went to work for an oil field rental company.
In 1976, Fazende moved to an oil field service company where he managed crews and equipment for about nine years.
Soon after that, the oil field business bottomed out, he said. The price of oil was low in 1986. That’s when Fazende left the business.
He briefly owned a QuickStop in Nicholson, but soon decided that wasn’t what he wanted to do.
In 1988, he was commissioned by then Pearl River County Sheriff Lorance Lumpkin as a part-time deputy. In 1989, he became a full-time officer and in 1993, he was asked to head the multijurisdictional Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force.
In 1995, Fazende joined the Poplarville Police Department as a patrolman under the direction of Chief Joe Stuart. He was promoted to captain in 1997, and after Stuart left to work for the District Attorney in the same year, Fazende was appointed chief, and the rest, as he said, is history.
For Fazende, the desire to enter law enforcement stems from his high school days.
“I was always taking up for the underdog,” he said. “Helping people makes a difference. I was the victim of a burglary and I know how that feels. I always admired people in law enforcement. It’s a noble profession and something to be proud of. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s fulfilled my life.”
One of the accomplishments Fazende is most proud of was the department’s establishment of the first junior police academy in the state.
“It was created prior to Hurricane Katrina and was the brainchild of Cpt. Doug Rowell and Cpt. Rossie Creel,” Fazende said. “It was for teenagers and we partnered with Pearl River Community College. Volunteer instructors from the fire and police departments, FBI and ATF participated in the program. It was unique and good for the youth in the community. Given the size of our department, it was a pretty significant accomplishment.”
The program lasted for about three to four years and was funded by donations from individuals and businesses. Due to a decline in the economy, the program was discontinued.
Fazende said the last 20 years have been wonderful.
“I’m so grateful for the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and I’ve learned so much from the people who have come through this department,” Fazende said. “I’ve made lots of lifelong friends and I can’t imagine not having it or how my life would have been. I’m glad I chose the path I did.”
Fazende said he still hasn’t decided what his plans will be after his retirement becomes effective Dec. 31.
“My goal was to attain 28 years and then get into something different, see what else is out there,” Fazende said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox