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Williams new MHP Troop M leader

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M Capt. Chris Williams said inthe 21 years he’s been on the force, he’s always aspired to leadhis fellow troopers.

His dream has reached new heights after he was recently promotedto the rank of captain and troop commander for Troop M’snine-county area.

“It’s the goal I set for myself when I first came on with theHighway Patrol,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be the troopcommander of Troop M.”

Williams steps into position behind Major Rusty Brill, who wasrecently promoted to major over the 24-county South Region, whichcovers Troop M, Troop J, which is based in Hattiesburg, and TroopK, which is based on the coast.

It’s a good transition, Williams said, since he and Brill haveworked together the whole time he’s been in the Highway Patrol.

“As captain of Troop M, I’ll answer to him, along with Troops Jand K,” Williams said. “We’ve got very good rapport. When I was amaster sergeant, he was my lieutenant, and as a lieutenant, Iworked under him as my captain.”

And currently, Williams is still upholding his duties as alieutenant as well as his new duties as the captain.

“There’s certainly more responsibility now,” he said. “I’mresponsible for what goes on in the troop, and I help set the tonefor the men in the district. Meanwhile, I’m still doing mylieutenant duties because we haven’t promoted there yet.”

But since Brill was promoted in early June, Williams has beenlooking after quite a bit around the office.

“I’ve been doing this since the major became a major, I’ve beenacting as a captain in his absence,” he said. “I’ve just got thetitle now too.”

It makes it easier to be a leader when you had good leaders tofollow, Williams said, adding that he came up under not only Brill,but two other great commanders in Garry Austin and James Vines.

“I’ve worked under three captains who have really shown me whatit entails to be a captain,” he said .

It also helps to have good followers.

“The guys here in the district do a wonderful job, working thewrecks and enforcing the traffic laws, and doing the other businessof the Highway Patrol,” he said. “What I want to do is continueencouraging that work ethic, and to be here to support them if theyhave a problem.”

The Troop M work ethic has been evident in recent statewidestatistics, Williams pointed out.

“We have the smallest troop in the state as far as manpower, butduring the Memorial Day holiday, we had the most citations and DUIsin the state,” he said. “That says a lot about the work ethic.”

Williams said he owes a special thanks to his wife, Jeannie, andhis two children, for always being there to support his career.

Williams started with the Highway Patrol in 1987, assigned toPike County out of patrol school. In October 1988, he wastransferred to the Amite County area, and in April 1997, Williamswas promoted to the rank of master sergeant and assistantinspector, serving as a first line supervisor until July 2004, whenhe was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and executive officer forTroop M.