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Carlisle retires as police chief; Dykes hired

WESSON — Long-time Wesson Police Chief Steve Carlisle decidedhe was ready to try another avenue of life and retired fromfull-time law enforcement Tuesday.

“I’m still going to work part-time, I just wanted to have moreleisure time,” he said following his announcement to the town’smayor and board of alderman.

Carlisle has 25 years experience in law enforcement and sevenyears in the United States Marines.

“I’ve been in law enforcement so long I just wanted to trysomething different,” said Carlisle, mentioning that he did not anydefinite plans yet.

He served as the police chief from 1976-1980, then from1986-1989 and again from 1995-2001. He also worked for the LincolnCounty Sheriff’s Department for six years and the MississippiBureau of Narcotics for two years.

Carlisle will remain available for training purposes, but hopesto spend more time enjoying his hobbies of hunting and fishing.

He mentioned how much law enforcement has changed over theyears, and he believes it is time to allow a younger officer achance to take the reins in Wesson.

The mayor and town board decided Officer Jim Dykes will be agood person to follow in Carlisle’s footsteps.

“I’m probably the youngest chief in the state, so that’s anhonor to be chosen,” said Dykes, who is 26 years old.

Dykes studied criminology at Florida State University aftergraduating from Choctaw High School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida,where he grew up. His parents, James and Linda, later moved toWesson.

He served as a patrol officer in Wesson for two years beforemoving to Mobile, Ala., in 1999 with his wife, Crystal. While inMobile, he was an asset protection manager for a department store,where he handled all criminal investigations.

“I was able to recover $30,000 worth of stolen merchandise forthem in one night,” said Dykes.

He rejoined the Wesson police department after his wifegraduated from college in Dec. 2000.

“I know most everybody in town already, so I’m just going tocontinue with the public service,” said Dykes.

He plans to continue providing a safe atmosphere for the peopleof Wesson, and also wants to work on reducing and preventing anynarcotic activity in the area.