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Peaceable Officer: Government complex officer now full time

DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Deputy Mike Campbell is now a fulltime security officer at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex.

DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Deputy Mike Campbell is now a fulltime security officer at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex.

Don’t let his gentlemanly manners fool you. Deputy sheriff Mike Campbell is a stern officer of the law whose job is to keep the peace in the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex.

Chancery Clerk Tillman Bishop said the complex has been in need of an officer focused on the security of the complex because there are sometimes tense situations that arise.

“In the environment that we live in,” Bishop said, “even in a safe town like Brookhaven, you need a full time police officer at the courthouse because of the court systems and the decisions that are made here – there can be very tense situations. Even I have had to break up confrontations, but he is trained to respond to these situations.

“And,” Bishop added, “when you have those that need to come in just for tags and taxes, they want to feel safe,” Bishop said.

Bishop added that Campbell has full authority to make arrests if needed.

“He is a deputy sheriff, and he can make arrests under the authority of the sheriff,” Bishop said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said Campbell had been working at the courthouse during chancery, circuit and city courts since 2007, and that city and county board members finally decided that he was needed full time.

“With all the courts convening here,” Rushing said, “the county and the city decided we really needed him full-time. He has done a great job in keeping the complex secure.”

The officer started working at the complex on a full-time basis July 1.

Campbell, now 61, completed the challenging 16-week police academy in 2008 at the age of 56.

“I was definitely the oldest guy in the academy,” he said. They made him a platoon leader, and Campbell said he began to understand why officers develop bonds of brotherhood.

“I really fell in love with the camaraderie during training,” Campbell said. “It’s a very palpable feeling among the men; it’s an understanding of each other that you can only get by going through it together.”

He is also a licensed private investigator, and handles cases on a part-time basis.

The fulltime officer’s presence has been a relief to visitors and employees of the complex, Bishop said.

“It is something they have needed for a long time,” he said.

He is a New Orleans native. Campbell moved to Brookhaven 10 years ago to be with family here. He was a respiratory therapist for 22 years and then in the Brookhaven area he has owned three businesses, Reliable Oxygen and Rest Well Diagnostics – both of which he sold to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in 2011, and most recently he owned a gun supply store, Reliable Arms.

Campbell said he plans on living out the rest of his life in Brookhaven.

“Lincoln County has been wonderful to work for,” he said. “It is a great bunch of people to come to work with everyday and a great crew to be a part of.

“My wife and I love Brookhaven – it’s a wonderful place to live.”