By Brian Livingston / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
In an unexpected announcement Monday morning, Meridian Police Chief James Reed announced his resignation as chief of police.
Reed, following Mayor Cheri Barry as she read from a prepared statement, said he was relinquishing his post because of personal reasons. The resignation was effective immediately.
After Reed had read from his statement, he and Barry quickly left the third floor Meridian City Council chambers without taking any questions from the media.
At about 3:30 p.m., officials with the city of Meridian issued a statement that Assistant Chief James Sharpe had been appointed as acting police chief. Sharpe, a 25-plus year veteran of the MPD, said after the announcement he would release a statement in the coming days. Sharpe has been one of two assistant chiefs for the MPD.
During the hastily called 11:30 p.m. press conference, Barry thanked Reed for his service and called him a hometown hero for Meridian. She said Reed had served with distinction in law enforcement for 35 years as an investigator with Mississippi Department of Justice, a probation and parole officer with the State of Mississippi, and as a supervisory special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Reed said during his statement, "With deep regrets I am resigning my position as police chief for personal reasons. This decision came after many hours of thought and prayer."
Barry said Reed tendered his resignation Monday morning.
"My decision to accept his resignation came only after deep thought and prayer," as Barry read from her statement. "I wish the best for him and his family in the days ahead."
Reed was sworn into office on Aug. 8, 2012. He is the city's third police chief in Mayor Cheri Barry's administration. Reed replaced former Chief Lee Shelbourn, who retired at the end of June 2012. Barry tapped Shelbourn in 2009 to replace former police chief Benny DuBose.