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Meet Willie

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I am honored to be a candidate for Sheriff of Lincoln County.  I bring to bear twenty-six years of law enforcement knowledge and experience.  Twenty of those years have been spent serving two law enforcement agencies, a police officer with the Brookhaven Police Department and a Conservation Officer, “game warden” for the State of Mississippi. 

I grew up in Lincoln County and was educated in the Brookhaven Public Schools.  I have always had a personal interest in Lincoln County and the things that affect our community.  I am grateful to have the chance to serve in a leadership role in the place where I grew up as someone who was not as fortunate as others; but also in a place where, as an adult, I am able to understand the desires and the needs of families who have cycles and desire to enjoy life. 

I am a graduate of Brookhaven High School Class of 1986 and furthered my educational studies at Jackson State University and Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

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My wife, LaTronda and I have been married 18 years and have spent 17 of those years in the countryside of the county.  We have been blessed with two sons, Xavier 17 and Gaylon 15.  My first spouse, Tracy Robinson Gayten who passed away of breast cancer and I were blessed with three children, Chasity 32, Ashley 31, and Willie, Jr. 27.  I was also blessed to gain two bonus sons, Norlando 27 and Brandon 25.  Our lives as a blended family comes with great joy.  LaTronda, who is affectionately known as Mrs. Gayten, has been employed by the Brookhaven Public School System for 18 years.  Before becoming a citizen of Lincoln County, she resided in Wilkinson County, Mississippi where she worked in county government in the Wilkinson County Chancery Clerk’s office and she taught school in the Wilkinson County School District.  Our busy lifestyles make it easy for us to meet and serve others.  We are active members of the Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Charles Caston, Sr., where I serve as a Deacon.

I am a Child of God! But my earthly parents are the late Sam Gayten, Sr. and the late Elvira Williams Gayten. My parents were blessed to have eleven children and raised many more.  My father retired from the City of Brookhaven and my mother was a care-taker, and a well-known cook, and housekeeper around the Brookhaven/Lincoln County area.

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In 1997, I started my law enforcement career as a Housing Project Officer under the leadership of Chief Fred McKey.  In 2000, I was hired full-time as a Conservation Officer with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.  During my 21 year career with the MDWFP, I worked diligently to earn the title of Lieutenant.  I worked concurrently as a local police officer and conservation officer for twenty years.  I was also privileged to work under the leadership of Chief Arlustra “Pap” Henderson, Chief Bobby Bell and Chief Kenneth Collins. 

In 2021, I left MDWFP agency to become a School Resource Officer at Brookhaven High School and other schools within the district.  In 1999, my career was also highlighted when I became a junior high school coach at Alexander Junior High.  This position allowed me a leadership role to help share my football gifts and talents with the younger generation but it also allowed me to serve as a positive role model. 

I also serve on the Lincoln County Dixie Youth Baseball Committee and was previously employed at Wal-Mart Distribution Center before starting my law enforcement career.

My experience and training in law enforcement spans from the State of Mississippi to the State of New Mexico.  I completed the MS Law Enforcement Officer Training Academy (MLEOTA) in 1997 and the Mississippi Conservation Officer Training Academy in 2000.  My training and certifications in law enforcement includes many certifications and trainings from FEMA, Homeland Security, New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Radiological and Nuclear Training, National Incident Management Command Systems, Federal Bureau of Investigation MS Law Enforcement Command College, MDWFP Special Response Team (SRT) and the National Association of School Resource Officers Basic SRO Training Course.

If you want experience, someone you can trust, someone who is honest, someone who is accountable, someone with proven leadership, someone with a proven record of excellence, and someone with courage, character and county support.

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