Grant Myers
Grant Myers
Grant P. Myers, an investigator and drug officer with the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department, was appointed Chief of Police Tuesday evening in a unanimous vote by the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Myers was chosen from a field of 10 applicants to succeed Bill Cox who resigned on Aug. 30 to take over as head of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Olive Branch Police Department.

Myers' salary was set at $55,000. His start date as chief will be determined after he talks to the Sheriff.

Shortly after being appointed chief, Myers said he felt great.

"I was raised here and it's just an honor," he said. "Philadelphia is a good town and there's no reason to let a few bad apples make us look bad."

Myers said his main focus would be on reducing the amount of crime within the city, which he thinks is 80 to 90 percent drug related.

"Controlling the drugs will be a focal point," he said.

Myers said he plans to run a proactive, as opposed to reactive, police department and wants to build a bond with the community.

"We need to work with the community because we'll need their help," he said, noting that he would have an open door policy once he takes over.

The newly named chief also plans to make a few adjustments within the department, but "nothing dramatic," he said.

"I'm familiar with the department from an outsider-looking-in perspective. I'll need to see all the good and bad points," Myers said.

Overall, Myers is excited for the chance to work in a new aspect of law enforcement.

"There's not much of a difference [between the city and county]," he said. "[The city] is just more condensed in a smaller area.

"With the support and involvement of the community we can turn around this city. It's a great place to raise a family."

Myers and his wife, Crystal, Director of Rehabilitation at Choctaw Residential Center, have two children: Bailey, 12, and Jake, 2.

Myers is the son of Garry and Debbie Burt Myers of Philadelphia. He is the grandson of Betty Burt and the late Rack Burt and the late Judge Vernon and Walterine Myers.

Crystal is the daughter of Cathy Apperson and Cecil Apperson and the granddaughter of the late Margaret and John Lee Pierce and the late Wilma and Dee Apperson.

Myers graduated from Philadelphia High School. He attended East Central Community College and Meridian Community College where he studied criminal justice.

He is a 2001 graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, where he graduated as the platoon leader.

Myers was hired at the Sheriff's Department in 2000 and has worked as an investigator and as a drug enforcement officer where he was previously assigned to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics working directly under its supervision as part of the Eighth Judicial District Narcotics Enforcement Team at the time. He was also assigned to the U. S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force where his team received its Case of the Year Award for Mississippi in 2008 for a drug case, which spanned two states and three Mississippi counties including Neshoba.

Following the vote Tuesday night, Mayor James A. Young said "let's get to work. It's been a long time and we've got to get to work. I hope he will get us to the next level and bring some new ideas to the department. He's got a load of integrity and passion for the community. "

Young said he was glad the long search for a chief had ended.

He thanked aldermen for the time they spent during the interview process.

Ward 1 Alderman Josh Gamblin said he couldn't be more excited about the board's selection for police chief.

"Over the past few years we've all seen a decrease in the police department's morale and an increase in crime," he said in a written statement.

"I think Chief Myers will bring passion and a much needed spark. I think that's what the department desperately needs to get us back to the basics of fighting crime. Since he is a resident of the city I feel he has a vested interest in his new job; that's something that the department has lacked for awhile now."