Officer of the Month

We are pleased to announce that the Pearl Police Department Officer of the Month is Officer Ronnie Decell. Officer Decell graduated from Simpson Academy in 1993 and from East Tennessee Police Academy in 1996. Officer Decell began his career with the City of Pearl in 2006 as a firefighter with the Pearl Fire Department. In 2009, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 2012, Officer Decell started working as a reserve police officer.  Later in 2013, he joined the Pearl Police Department as a full time officer. He later joined the SWAT Team . His certifications include both police and fire training including EMT, rope rescue I and II, confined space rescue, hazmat tech I and II, fire officer I and II and Basic SWAT certifications.

On May 31, 2015, Officers were dispatched to a shooting call at the Highlands mobile home community. Upon arrival it was determined to be a self-inflicted wound with a tremendous amount of blood loss. Officer Decell assisted other officers on the scene with his medic training by quickly applying a combat application tourniquet until the ambulance and first responders could arrive.  As a result of Officer Decell’s advanced training, EMT experience, and life saving measures, the victim was transported to a local hospital where he lived another 24 hours in enough time for his family to be contacted and make it to the hospital before he passed away. If asked about that day, Officer Decell would simply say he was doing what he was trained to do not only as a police officer but also as his experience as a firefighter. He would also divert any credit from him to his fellow officers that were there that day.  For his actions, efforts, and response on that day Officer Decell is the June Officer of the Month.

The Pearl Chamber of Commerce presented Officer Decell with a framed certificate, a $100 Gift Card to the Outlets of Mississippi and a Cracker Barrel Gift Basket along with a gift card for dinner for two people. Buckley Security donated a $25 gift card to the Tropical Smoothie Café; Derek Havard with McIntosh & Associates donated a $50 Applebee’s Gift Card; Moss Creek Fish House donated a $25 Gift Card; MedScreens donated a $25 Kroger Gift Card; The Pearl Municipal Credit Union donated a $25 Visa Gift Card; Scotts Miracle Gro donated a camping chair; Signmark donated a gym bag and Fowler Chiropractic donated a certificate for 8 deep tissue laser treatments valued at $320.

We are proud to announce that the Pearl Police Department Officer of the Month in May is Officer Justin Barnette. Justin joined the Pearl Police Department in 2011 after graduating from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy. He served as the DUI Enforcement Officer from 2012 to 2013 while he was a member of the Pearl Traffic Unit. In 2011 he was awarded the 50+ DUI Award and the 100 DUI Club DUI Award in 2012 and 2013. He was awarded the Seatbelt & Child Restraint Award in 2012 & 2014. Officer Barnette has also been a member of the SWAT Team, Honor Guard and Emergency Operations Team. He has completed numerous hours of training and certifications including Accident Reconstruction and Child Passenger Safety. On April 25, 2015 Officer Barnette responded to a call at a local motel in reference to a robbery report. Upon his arrival he began speaking with the complainant and due to his attention to detail, he began to notice that things did not seem to add up. Upon further investigation, along with Detective Brown, who was the detective on call, the initial call turned into three arrests for prostitution, robbery, foreign warrant and several other charges. Officer Barnette’s dedication and attention to detail is a great asset to the Pearl Police Department.

Office Barnette is a 1999 graduate of Pearl High School and has been a resident of the city of Pearl for 30 years. He is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He and his wife Charlene have two children.

The Pearl Chamber of Commerce presented Officer Barnette with a framed certificate, a $100 Bass Pro Gift Card and a Cracker Barrel Basket complete with a meal for two. Justin Null – Alfa Insurance Agency donated a $50 Outlets of Mississippi Gift Card, Buckley Security donated a $25 Frisco Deli Gift Card, MedScreens donated a $25 Kroger Gift Card, McAlister’s Deli donated a certificate for meal for two and Moss Creek Fish House donated a $25 Gift Certificate. Scotts Miracle Gro donated a camping chair, Signmark donated a soft side cooler and Fowler Chiropractic donated a certificate for 8 deep tissue laser treatments, valued at $320.

We are proud to announce that the Pearl Police Department February Officer of the Month is Detective Sentel Easterling. Detective Easterling graduated from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2004 and worked at the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and Brandon PD before coming to Pearl in 2008. Detective Easterling puts in long hours on the interstate working for the City of Pearl and the Pearl Police Department. Detective Easterling exhibits the skill and great patience that is needed to be a successful criminal interdiction officer. While not performing his duties as a criminal interdiction officer, Detective Easterling is also in charge of the K-9 program. On February 3, 2015, Detective Easterling stopped a white Chrysler Van on Interstate 20 and found a large sum of cash along with approximately 3 grams of marijuana. Just a few weeks later on February 25, 2015, Detective Easterling stopped a red Toyota Corolla on Interstate 20 and found an even larger amount of cash inside a natural void in the trunk of the vehicle. The week of February 9-13, Detective Easterling and his K-9 competed in the United States Police Canine Association regional competition in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Detective Easterling and his K-9 placed second overall in the narcotics detection portion of the competition and qualified for the national competition to be held later in the year.

Detective Easterling is married to his wife Raymona and has two children, Mason and Morgan.

The Pearl Chamber of Commerce presented Detective Easterling with a framed certificate, a $100 Wal-Mart gift card and a Cracker Barrel gift basket complete with a meal for two. Justin Null with Alfa Insurance donated a $50 Outlets of Mississippi gift card, Kim Fortner with Hopper Properties donated a $25 Subway gift card, Buckley Security donated a $25 Walgreens gift card, MedScreens donated a $25 Kroger gift card and Signmark donated a gym bag.

We are proud to announce that the Pearl Police Department Officer of the Month is Corporal Tammy Fitzhugh. She started work at the Pearl Police Department in 2010 and graduated from MLEOTA in November 2011. On December 20, 2014, at approximately 10:30 am officers with the Pearl Police Department were notified of a suspect vehicle occupied by two male subjects seen stealing gas cans and other items from underneath a carport. The concerned citizen notified dispatch and then began following the suspect vehicle throughout other residential areas of the city awaiting police to arrive. The suspect vehicle was encountered by responding patrol units. The driver was quickly taken into custody, but not before the passenger jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot through the nearby residential area. Additional officers arrived to the area and established a perimeter.  Approximately 10 minutes later, Officer Fitzhugh spotted the second suspect behind Paradise Pools and Spa as he was running out of the woods towards her. Officer Fitzhugh gave the suspect several commands to stop and show his hands, yet he continued charging toward her. Officer Fitzhugh had the presence of mind to notice the suspect wasn't exhibiting a weapon so she used a non-lethal method of apprehension by the deployment of her tazer. Officer Fitzhugh then held the suspect at bay, while waiting on responding back up units to assist her to take the male subject into custody.  After taking both subjects into custody, it was discovered the two suspects had stolen recently delivered Fed-Ex Christmas packages from the carports of the residential areas along with other various types of personal property. As a result the suspects were charged with the following charges: petit larceny - (3 counts), disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of burglary tools, contempt of court, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If asked, Officer Fitzhugh would tell you that it was a team effort that led to the successful apprehension of both subjects that day. And it was. However, at a time when constant focus is placed on the decisiveness of a law enforcement officer to make the correct call and be willing to accept all liability while not allowing the suspect to get away, Officer Tammy Fitzhugh exhibited the desire to apprehend the criminal element and to restore justice to their victims.

The Pearl Chamber of Commerce presented Corporal Fitzhugh with a framed certificate, a $100 Wal-Mart gift card and roses from Bouquets of Pearl. Jose’s Mexican Restaurant donated a $20 gift certificate, Buckley Security donated a $25 AllyOops gift certificate, MedScreens donated a $25 Kroger gift card, Moss Creek Fish House donated a $25 gift card, Cracker Barrel donated a gift basket complete with a gift card for 2 complete meals and Signmark donated a soft side cooler.

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