Mayor's Report

Apr 07


The original item was published from April 6, 2020 2:29 PM to April 7, 2020 11:55 AM

As I evaluate and communicate new information for many hours daily, some of which is not good, I know how important a positive attitude is for all of us during this challenging time.  I choose to keep my head right and know that God is in control of this situation.  Please join me with a positive attitude and as I “tell you something good”, please also forward some positivity to another person today.

Let me introduce to you our talented team with the City of Southaven who helps me and serves our citizens in a tremendous way daily.

Today’s introduction is Chris Shelton, our ITEC Director.  Chris started his service to the City in October, 1992 when he was hired as a Police & Fire Dispatcher.  In February, 2000, he was promoted to Supervisor of Emergency Communications and in March, 2010, he added the role of Information Technology Director to his responsibilities.  In October, 2014, the City restructured several departments, one of which combined and created a new department for ITEC, and for which Chris became the Director. 

In conjunction with his role with the City, Chris also holds the following positions:  Desoto County 911 District Commissioner, Southaven Police & Fire Chaplain, and SPD Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support Coordinator.  Outside of City responsibilities, he also serves as Senior Pastor of New Day Fellowship Church.

Chris graduated from Andersonville Theological Seminary in 2013; Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003; and Southaven High School in 1989.  His professional development training is extensive including completion of the following:  New Horizons Computer Learning Center, International Conference of Police Chaplains, Mississippi State Fire Academy, Tactical Officer Survival School, LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics, U.S. Office for Domestic Preparedness, University of Nevada Counter Terrorism Operations, National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch, and Homeland Security Programs with the F.B.I. and U.S. Secret Service.

When asked about professional achievements that mean the most to him, Chris noted all the work, as Commissioner of the PSAP Committee, behind implementing the Desoto County Motorola P-25 Public Safety Radio System Network.  This system drastically changed emergency communication for the better throughout our county and state, which greatly improved responder safety and effectiveness in protecting our citizens and visitors.  He also treasures the expansion and upgrade of our City’s Emergency Communications Center in 2018 as it increased space for the appropriate number of personnel, and now allows us to meet the day-to-day needs of our team with the most modern, state-of-the-art equipment available.  He went on to say that his position as Director of ITEC holds special meaning in that he is in a position to represent our Mayor and Board among working along with amazing people serving as Dispatchers and IT Technicians who provide the vital link between the public and public safety agencies.

When asked “why do you do what you do?” Chris responded, “I do what I do because I know that I am serving in the exact location I am supposed to be in.  That’s the greatest place to be.  I also do what I do because of the great people.  When I say great people, I mean from my co-workers, to City leadership, to the great community we serve.  The City of Southaven has the best employees around.  I have to say that not only are the people awesome in my department, but the overall team the City has in place cannot be outdone.  It’s amazing how everyone makes a team effort to get done whatever needs to get done.  It’s also been said that at Southaven we do more with less.  That statement couldn’t be truer.  The other part of the great people I get to work with is our citizens.  Southaven is filled with great people.  I have lived here most of my life.  I bleed SHS Charger Orange and Blue.  While for short periods in my adult life I have moved to other places, Southaven was always my home and is my hometown today.  With the “team” we have in place here, I know there is nothing we can’t achieve.  That’s why I do what I do.”

Chris has been married to wife, Tonya for 26 years and they have one daughter, Kaylee who was recently married to their new son-in-law, Colin.  Kaylee, like her Dad, also bleeds SHS Charger Orange and Blue as she was named “Miss SHS” her senior year and returned to Southaven after graduating from Delta State University to teach fourth-grade math at Southaven Intermediate School.  When not working, Chris enjoys Crappie fishing, deer hunting, and ATV riding.

Chris is clearly the “Walter Mitty” of our city, but the difference in him and the fictional character is that he does it all in reality every day, and does it all very well.  He truly cares about people and is always the first to “step-up” when there is a need, regardless of how much of the burden he is already carrying.  He is an invaluable asset and reliable advisor to me and our city is so blessed to have him on our team.  #tellmesomethinggood
Chris Shelton