Police officer gets state board praise

The state Department of Public Safety recently issued a citation to a senior officer with the Mississippi State University Police Department.

Happily, it wasn't a traffic ticket that Capt. William A. Cole received. Since he's in his fifth year as coordinator of parking services--which includes a corps of campus ticket writers--that type of citation would have been embarrassing.

A 26-year campus police veteran, Cole received a plaque and letter of commendation for his "outstanding service" during a just-completed three-year term as president of the Board of Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training. He remains a member of the 12-person board.

Presentation of the surprise honor was made by university President Donald Zacharias at the Division of Student Affairs' fall convocation. The plaque had been forwarded to Zacharias by Jim Walker, the Department of Public Safety's director of standards and training.

Before heading traffic services, Cole led the campus police investigative division. A New Albany native, he is a graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy and Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy.

Created by the Legislature in 1972, the standards and training board is responsible for establishing job-related standards for entrance into the law enforcement profession. It also certifies for duty each law enforcement academy graduate.

Other board members include Columbus Police Chief Pete Bowen, District Attorney Dewitt L. Fortenberry Jr. of Mendenhall, executive director E.J. "Jack" Gregory of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, Madison County Sheriff Jessie L. Hopkins, special assistant attorneys general Mike Lanford and Ed Snyder, U.S. Marshal James M. McFadden Jr. of Greenville, Constable John M. Mitchell of Picayune, New Augusta Police Chief Hugh Mixon, Mayor Gary L. Rhoads of Flowood, and Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol director Jimmy Stringer.