Retired officer faces joyriding charge

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2009

A former McComb police lieutenant had a brief stay in LincolnCounty Wednesday after being arrested in Pike County on charges ofjoyriding and impersonation of a municipal officer.

McComb Police Chief Greg Martin said Mark Anderson, 44, of 41111th St. in McComb, who retired in August, allegedly walked intothe McComb Police Department at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, signed in onthe log, acquired the keys to the vehicle driven by thelieutenants, and went on duty.

Anderson was appointed as police chief twice by embattled McCombMayor Zach Patterson, who also suspended Martin during somedramatic personnel maneuvering in recent months. It finally endedin the board of selectmen reappointing Martin as police chief, andAnderson’s retirement.

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Anderson had asked to come out of retirement, but the board hadnot yet acted on that request.

“He retired on Aug. 27, and is no longer a city employeeaccording to policy,” Martin said. “I don’t deal in the politics. Ican only go by policy, which allows an employee to resign or retireany time, and they can do that through personnel or through animmediate supervisor.”

Anderson left with the vehicle and a police-issue gun he did notturn in when he retired three weeks ago, the police chief said.Martin said Anderson was arrested by the Pike County Sheriff’sDepartment and was booked into Lincoln County Jail as a matter ofprotection and procedure.

“That’s a common practice for most law enforcement agencies. Ifan officer is arrested in that jurisdiction, we try not to processhim in the same facility where he enforced the law,” Martin said.”It’s a safety issue.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said Anderson wascooperative and calm during the booking process.

“The sheriff of Pike County asked for us to book him up herebecause of his safety, and it’s not uncommon to do that, so we justbrought him up here and he bonded out about 8:15 last night throughnormal procedures,” Rushing said Thursday.

Martin said he has no personal knowledge of why Anderson cameback to work without permission.

“He hasn’t made any contact with me, or given me any reasons, orcommunicated with me at all,” Martin said. “Now the case will go tocourt and the judge will hear it and render a decision on thecharges.”