Photo: Major Robert Riggs (left) and Police Chief Macon Moore at their retirement ceremony on Friday morning, Jan. 26. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Another step in the changing of the guard at the top of the Southaven Police Department took place Friday morning, Jan. 26, when retiring Police Chief Macon Moore and Major Robert Riggs were celebrated at the department’s West Precinct in a retirement ceremony.
Moore, who has been the city’s Police Chief since 2019, and Riggs, who has been with the department in several areas since 2007, both recently announced they were retiring from the force.
In the case of Moore, Deputy Police Chief Brent Vickers is set to become the Chief in Southaven on Tuesday, Jan. 30 after his swearing-in ceremony in front of Mayor Darren Musselwhite and the Board of Aldermen at 10 a.m. in the City Hall Board Room.
It was Musselwhite who appointed the former DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy to become the new Police Chief after the retirement of Steve Pirtle. Musselwhite said Friday morning that he and Moore were quickly thrown into some major issues.
“He was chief on July 10, 2019, and just 20 days later, we experienced the first-ever active shooter event in the history of Southaven at Walmart,” Musselwhite said. “Less than one year after his appointment, we experienced the first ever global pandemic. We had threats that our interstate system would be shut down and that the Tanger mall would be shot up. We had so many things that people didn’t know about.”
But, Musselwhite added, Moore has led the Southaven Police Department through a critical time for the city and modernized the police operation.
“We’ve had some good police chiefs in the past, but as y’all know, things change and there’s a special time for special things,” Murrselwhite said. “He (Moore) made monumental strides with the use of new technology and policies that have improved the efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, and professionalism of our force. I think that’s a pretty good legacy, so we’re very proud of that for him.”
In his comments, Moore pointed out that the financial support the city has given the police department during his time has doubled and salaries have increased, all while Southaven’s crime rate has stayed flat.
“Our budget is nearly doubled in four-and-a-half years from $11 million to $24 and a half million and that’s unheard of,” Moore said. “There’s been a 28 percent increase in salaries from a growth from 114 to 165 sworn positions.”
Moore’s law enforcement career has spanned 34 years and includes nine years as a lieutenant in the Southaven department. He then was Chief Deputy in the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department until his appointment to return to Southaven as Chief in 2019.
Rigge was a Marine who was on active duty at Camp Pendleton, California until joining the Horn Lake Police Department in 2001, working there in several capacities. Six years later, Riggs joined the Southaven force where he was an FTO SWAT team member and worked investigations before becoming a lieutenant. He became major over police services in 2021.