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Posted on: August 14, 2023

Ocean Springs Police Chief Announces Retirement

Chief Mark Dunston

Ocean Springs, MS –Police Chief Mark Dunston has announced that he will retire from the Ocean Springs Police Department (OSPD) on September 29, 2023. He has 39 years of law enforcement experience. Dunston is the 10th Police Chief of Ocean Springs. 

Beginning his career in 1984, Dunston has served in numerous positions and assignments throughout his career.  These positions include undercover narcotics, uniformed patrol, uniformed patrol supervisory ranks, investigations, academy instructor and academy director, and law enforcement executive.  He is a graduate of the 191st FBI National Academy and the 20th Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police conducted with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

He served as the specialized and advanced training coordinator for the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy (MLEOTA) and was the first director of the North MS Law Enforcement Training Center.  While the director of the NMLETC, he held the rank of Captain with Tupelo, MS Police Department where he was also responsible for the SWAT team.  He previously served as Chief of Police for Long Beach, MS.  

Dunston returned to OSPD in 2003 as the Captain in charge of Professional Standards and Training.  He was then promoted in 2007 to Deputy Chief and then in 2015 to Chief.

“The Board of Aldermen and I are grateful to Chief Dunston for his dedication to law enforcement and specifically to the City of Ocean Springs and its community,” said Mayor Kenny Holloway. “We wish him all the best in his retirement, and we look forward to what he will do next.”

“My time as Chief has allowed me to accomplish many things for my department including leading it to be one of the first fully accredited agencies. I also initiated the first consistent leadership program by sending every newly promoted lieutenant to either the Northwestern University School of Staff and Command or the FBI National Academy,” said Dunston. 

“Ocean Springs is a great community, and our department has always had the public’s trust. Thank you to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for allowing me to lead and to the city employees for your support. Thank you to my officers and staff who strive to keep our community safe. I am thankful to be able to retire and start my next chapter.”

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