Bill Cox Named New Olive Branch Police Chief

Deputy Chief Bill Cox will serve as Olive Branch’s new police chief, replacing current police chief Don Gammage after his retirement in late June.

Gammage has served as chief of police since 2009 and has worked at Olive Branch for 30 years, since 1992. When his retirement was announced, he recommended Cox take over.

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“Over the past nine years, Bill has demonstrated leadership and commitment to this city and this county and has gone above and beyond to make sure the job gets done,” Gammage said during the announcement. “He is committed to public relations and community outreach and will continue to build strong bonds with the citizens we serve. , Deputy Chief Bill Cox is the best choice for the job and I have my full support.”

It was ultimately the decision of Mayor Ken Adams and the Board of Aldermen to hire Cox.

Olive Branch is the fifth or sixth most populous city in Mississippi with approximately 40,000 residents and the police department has over 100 officers. During Gammage’s tenure at Olive Branch, the police department received and maintained accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA). Gammage cited this accreditation as one of his proudest accomplishments at Olive Branch.

“When I started as chief, I developed a 25-point strategic plan outlining the goals I envisioned for the department as well as the steps needed to achieve those goals,” Gammage said. “Today I am pleased to report that all of these goals have been achieved. One of the most important of these goals was the creation of a community relations division to bridge the gap between our citizens and our ministry.”

The Municipal Court sign in the town of Olive Branch.  The city is the fifth or sixth largest city in Mississippi.

This year, CALEA voted unanimously to reaccredit the department. The department remains one of only eight departments in the state to have the accreditation. Cox received the plaque commemorating the credential at the June 7 council of aldermen meeting, as Gammage was unable to attend.

“It is very important that you realize that your department is one of the few to have reached this milestone,” said Vince Dauro, regional program manager for CALEA. “And allows us to come in and criticize them and make sure they’re doing the right thing.”

The last day of Gammage is June 30.

Gina Butkovich covers DeSoto County, storytelling and general news. She can be reached at 901-232-6714 or on Twitter @gigibutko.

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