By Brian Livingston
Three Meridian Police Department officers were promoted Thursday by Chief James Lee and Mayor Percy Bland in a small ceremony at the department on 22nd Avenue South.
Lee said the officers have exhibited exceptional dedication to the job and to the people of Meridian.
"I recommended these officers and the mayor approved them based on their work ethic and commitment to the citizens," Lee said. "I now expect them to work even harder in these new positions and to be held accountable for those officers under them."
The three officers were Rita Jack, Jay Arrington, and Travis Ruffin. Jack and Arrington were elevated to the rank of lieutenant while Ruffin was promoted to sergeant. Jack said the promotion was validation for the hard work she has put into her job.
"The chief and the mayor have entrusted in me this responsibility to improve the officers I'm in charge of and to improve the department," Jack said. "I will get to oversee the officers on patrol, direct their duties and support them whenever I can."
Jack will become a shift supervisor in the Patrol Division with this new position.
Ruffin received his sergeants stripes on the 17th anniversary since becoming a police officer. He said today was a special day for him to be promoted.
"It is another step, more responsibility, and a job I feel like I'm ready for," Ruffin said.
Ruffin will become the shift sergeant for Alfa Patrol.
Arrington was the Internal Affairs detective for the MPD and that role won't change. But he will be doing the job with a new rank as lieutenant.
Bland thanked the officers for their service to the citizens of Meridian and said they have his full support.
"I think these are all fine choices and I support them in their upcoming duties," Bland said.