Mississippi police chief to retire, focus on caring for homeless

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, November 27, 2019

After more than 25 years with the Gulfport Police Department, Chief Leonard J. Papania says he’s calling it quits.

News outlets report Papania announced Tuesday that he will retire Aug. 30, 2020 from the position he’s held since 2013. He says it’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Gulfport.

Papania began working in Gulfport in April 1991 as a reserve police officer. In November 1994, he gained a full-time position as a police officer. Serving in the Patrol and Narcotics divisions, and the Professional Standards Unit. He’s also worked for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Papania plans to continue serving the Gulf Coast community after he retires. He has accepted a position as director of youth services with the Open Doors Homeless Coalition.