INTERIM COMMISSIONER TOMMY TAYLOR
Tommy Taylor has more than 40 years of experience related to practices, policies, and procedures in both the law enforecement and corrections professions. His long and storied public service carrer on the state, county and local levels includes being a state lawmaker, warden, police officer, chief deputy, criminal investigator, narcotics officer, and a town marshal. He currently serves as mayor of Boyle, a town in Bolivar County. Gov. Tate Reeves named him Interim Commissioner on Jan. 16.
Over the years of being “in the trenches,” Taylor gained extensive knowledge of corrections and law enforcement management, supervision, training, security, program development, community relations, acknowledging and managing gangs and threat groups. He understands people from many diversities and cultures and has shared his knowledge and experience through training.
Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Delta State University in Cleveland and an Associate’s degree from Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead. He has extensive law enforcement training that includes graduating the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Law Enforcement Academy in Quantico, Va., the National Training Institute’s Law Enforcement/ Drug Narcotics Investigator’s Academy in Washington, D.C., and the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl. He completed Police Administration at the University of Virginia in Quantico and the U.S. Department of Justice-Secret Service’s Handwriting and Questioned Documents Examiner’s Seminar at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla.
Additionally, Taylor has advanced law enforcement and specialized training in almost all areas of law enforcement, including fingerprint analysis and classification, drug enforcement, firearms, and criminal, crime scene, accident, and cell phone investigations.
His law enforcement history dates to 1969 when he started as town marshal for the city of Pace. After two years, he became a drug and narcotics investigator and was instrumental in the seizure of one of the largest marijuana fields in the state at the time. He left narcotics enforcement two years later to become a criminal investigator for the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department. Four years later, he became chief deputy sheriff, then chief criminal investigator, and again chief deputy under a different administration. He left the sheriff’s department to be a Cleveland police officer while seeking to become Bolivar County sheriff. He later became a criminal investigator for the district attorney for the 11th Circuit Court District.
Taylor subsequently moved to corrections and served as warden of the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility (BCRCF). He also became a certified auditor for the American Correctional Association (ACA). During his tenure at BCRCF, the facility was the only correctional facility in the state to have three consecutive audits of 100 percent. He had other successes at Bolivar as well, including getting a drug treatment facility started for MDOC inmates and obtaining a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Mississippi Planning Commission. He also oversaw the building of an educational and multi-purpose facility with inmate labor at no cost to taxpayers and a 75-bed women’s work center at no extra cost.
Taylor carried his knowledge from the two criminal justice professions to the State Capitol, where he served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was chairman of the Corrections Committee and served on the Agriculture, County Affairs, Judiciary B, Military Affairs, and Universities and Colleges committees. His public service career also includes serving with the Bolivar County Election Commission and the Bolivar County Civil Defense.
Taylor graduated from Rosedale High School. He served three years in the military, including two years in Vietnam. He is a decorated veteran, having received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor.
Taylor has held and currently holds numerous professional affiliations in the law enforcement community. He is a member of Boyle Baptist Church in Boyle, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Mississippi Purple Heart Association, Delta Chapter 806. He is a married father of two children and has five grandchildren.
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