Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Tuesday, December 8, Mayor Toby Barker issued oaths to six lateral transfers in a dual ceremony, four firefighters for the Hattiesburg Fire Department and two police officers for the Hattiesburg Police Department.
“We have the two best public safety departments in the State of Mississippi. We train both our officers and our firefighters well and we hold them to a higher standard of conduct – on and off duty,” said Barker. “We also invest in them and make sure that opportunities to make a good living and go after higher education are available. These reasons and more are why we continue to attract potential candidates for both departments – whether through the academy process or as lateral transfers into our ranks.”
Four firefighters were issued the oath of office by Barker and badges were pinned by Assistant Fire Chief Danny Wade. These firefighters include:
- Mario Hyatt
- Alex Lininger
- Brandon Pfleuger
- Walter M. Green, II
These lateral transfers, coming on the heels of a graduating fire academy class in October, bring numbers to 120. Another academy class will begin in February.
With a department that began with a few firefighters and horses, the Hattiesburg Fire Department now serves the city with eight stations – with a ninth under construction – and holds a Class 3 Fire Rating.
“These men have great experience and will continue to add to the quality of service provided to the citizens of Hattiesburg,” said Wade. “We’re glad to have them in our ranks and we look forward to seeing their careers grow over the years.”
This ceremony, the last one for Police Chief Anthony Parker before he retires, is a nod to his steadfast commitment to boost manpower numbers throughout his tenure as chief.
“The fact that we are continuing to swear in officers, especially in a field that sees high turnover, and that we’ve stayed above 100 officers consistently for the past two years is a testament to his leadership,” said Barker. “This department and this city are better because Stoney Parker was here.”
The two officers sworn in during the ceremony include Deandre Billiot and Deundra Willis. Billiot and Willis bring 15 years of experience, collectively, to the Hattiesburg Police Department.
“I’ve spent my career here working to increase manpower numbers, and I’m proud that we continued a focus on quality over quantity,” said Parker. “These two are an example of that, and I look forward to the work they’ll do for the citizens of Hattiesburg.”
Billiot and Willis will spend the next three weeks in training at the Hattiesburg Police Academy to learn the department’s policies and procedures.