LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – This time next year, Lowndes County will have a new sheriff.
Sheriff Mike Arledge has announced he is not seeking a third term.
After more than thirty years in law enforcement, Arledge said he made the decision to retire over the holidays.
Sheriff Arledge is looking forward to enjoying some time with his family.
This year will be a bittersweet one for Arledge, as he gets ready to hang up his badge, after a career that has taken him all over the state.
From then, to now.
A love for serving the public is what’s kept Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge in law enforcement for 33 years.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Arledge started his career with the Department of Public Safety, working in almost every major division of the department.
“I was assigned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and then I worked for a stint with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, so that falls under the heading of DPS.”
Although Arledge is in the public eye these days, things used to be a lot different.
“After I was a Trooper for a number of years, then they assigned me over to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and I worked Jackson, Meridian, on the Coast, north Mississippi, all over. The main job I had when I was there was specifically covert operations and I worked strictly undercover.”
Countless cases, operations, stings, you name it, he’s done it.
Arledge said he can now share some of the things he’s done in his career that no one even knew he was involved in.
“I was on the Highway Patrol Swat Team and it does stick out that several Governors, that were having their inauguration, and there was times when we were behind the scenes and I was a sniper and I was on top of a building and we were clearing buildings down in Jackson, because the parade was going to come through.”
Arledge got his start where he would eventually serve as sheriff.
“I can remember coming here in 1981, as a rookie Trooper that didn’t even have a clue what I was doing at first, being a rookie, and this was my first assignment. It was the Starkville, Columbus area. We had runs back then and we would work a couple of counties and I didn’t even hardly know anybody here because I wasn’t from here.”
As Arledge starts his final year as sheriff, he has some tips for the next person who fills his seat.
“You may make a promotion, it’s going to make some of the other guys that didn’t get the promotion upset and one of the main things, just treat people the way you want to be treated. Be kind to people and know that you’re here for a purpose, to serve the public. There’s going to be criticism and that’s one of the toughest things in law enforcement.”
The sheriff said over the years he’s met many great people and developed many friendships.
He wants the community to know it’s been a honor for him to serve as sheriff.