Sheriff's department honors investigator
THANKS Sheriff Billy Sollie presents criminal investigator James Stephens, left, with a plaque recognizing his 28 years of public service. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
July 25, 2002
Deputies gathered at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility Wednesday for criminal investigator James A. "Jim" Stephens' retirement reception a potluck luncheon honoring his 28 years of public service.
In the fall of 1998, Stephens joined the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department as a deputy. He was promoted to jail administrator and, in 2001, to criminal investigator.
Friends and colleagues said Stephens is straightforward with a temperament that earned him the nickname "Grumpy."
Stephens finished off his career in law enforcement investigating child abuse and sex crimes.
Colleague Sidney Covington said Stephens is fair.
Covington, a sexual assault therapist at Wesley House Community Center, said she could always count on Stephens' professionalism and his commitment to see every case through to the end.
Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said he's worked with Stephens, and for Stephens, and they've fished together for a lot of years.
Stephens previously served as deputy chief of police with the MPD and resigned his post to join the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. Stephens met Mitchell and Sollie while working for the MPD, he said.
As a token of respect and friendship, Sollie gave Stephens his badge back on behalf of the department.
After 28 years of public service 10 years in the Navy and 18 in law enforcement Stephens said he's not sure what's next.