The Gulfport Police Department provides traditional police services to the citizens of Gulfport, MS. The Gulf Coast Beaches, Casino Gaming, Fishing, Golf, The University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey College and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are just some of the area attractions. Sitting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Gulfport Police Department has 167 sworn personnel and 57 civilian staff to serve a residential population of 71,750 and a daily population of over 144,000.

We will be a resource to the community for the education, safety, and welfare of all people. We are committed to the prevention of crime and the preservation of peace. We will honor that pledge through respect for human dignity and a strong ethical code as custodians of law and order.

Perseverance, Integrity, and Honor – Protecting Gulfport since 1898


Command Staff

Leonard Papania

Chief of Police

Leonard PapaniaChief Leonard Papania is a 1984 graduate of St. John High School in Gulfport. He graduated with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.  Leonard Papania first joined the Gulfport Police Department in April 1991 as a reserve police officer. He served in this capacity until November 1994, when he was hired as a full time police officer.  In 1995 he became a field training officer. He was assigned to the Proactive Unit, a street level criminal interdiction unit in 1996. This assignment included becoming a member of the Gulfport Police Tactical Entry Team.  In 1997 he was assigned as a Narcotics Detective with an assignment to the Street Level Narcotics Investigative Unit. In 1998 he was assigned to the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team where he was sworn in as a Task Force Agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.  In 1999 he was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration Gulf coast HIDTA where he was sworn in as a DEA Task Force Agent. During his assignment he became certified through the DEA as a clan laboratory investigator. Also during this time he became a member of the Gulfport Tactical Sniper Team.  In 2002 he received a promotion to Detective Sergeant and was assigned to the Gulfport Police Department Special Investigative Services. In 2004 he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant and assigned as the Officer in Charge of Special Investigative Services.  In February, 2006 Lt. Papania was promoted to the rank of Commander over the Operations Bureau by Chief of Police Alan Weatherford.  In 2007 he graduated from the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course in Louisville, Kentucky.  In July, 2009 he was appointed to Deputy Chief of Police. In May of 2013 he was appointed to Chief of Police.

Chris Loposser

Deputy Chief of Police

Chris LoposserDeputy Chief Chris Loposser is a 1989 graduate of Gulfport High School. He graduated with honors from the University of Mississippi earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Systems Administration in 1993. Chris Loposser was hired as a full time police officer in October of 1994. He attended the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy in 1995 and received the Larkin Smith award as the Honor graduate. In 1995, he was assigned as a Detective in the Department’s Narcotics Unit and as a member of the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team as a Task Force Agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. In 1996, Detective Loposser was placed on the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team. He remained on the team for twelve years, ultimately being assigned as the Tactical Team Commander while a Detective Lieutenant. In 1997, he was assigned as a Task Force Officer with the U.S. Customs Service. This ultimately led to an assignment as a charter member of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force where he was sworn in as a DEA Task Force Agent. In 2000, he received a promotion to Detective Sergeant and was assigned to the Gulfport Police Department’s Narcotics Division. In 2002, Sergeant Loposser attended the Drug Unit Commander’s Academy at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Quantico, Virginia, where he was elected President of his class. In 2003, he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant in the Narcotics Division. In 2004, Lt. Loposser graduated from the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 2006, Lt. Loposser was assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Bureau of Operations. In February, 2007, Lt. Loposser was promoted to the rank of Captain and placed in charge of patrol and investigative personnel in District 1. In 2008, he graduated from the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville as the honor graduate. In 2009, Captain Loposser was tasked to lead the newly formed Special Enforcement Division of the Gulfport Police Department. In May, 2011 he was appointed to the position of Commander over the Operations Bureau by Chief of Police Alan Weatherford. In May of 2013 he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Police by Chief Papania.

Ken Brown

Commander of Operations Bureau

Commander Ken Brown is a 1986 graduate of Petal High School. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1991 with a minor in Forensic Science. Ken Brown was hired as a full time police officer in January of 1994. He attended the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy in 1994. In 1995, he was assigned to the Department’s Proactive Enforcement Unit and the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team. In 1997, he was assigned to the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. In 2000, he was promoted to Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. In 2003, he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations Division. In 2004, Lt. Brown graduated from the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 2006, Lt. Brown was assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Division in District 1. In 2009, Lt. Brown was assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Department’s Professional Standards Unit. In July of 2010, Lt. Brown was assigned as the acting Officer in Charge of District 1 and in October 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Captain and remained the Officer in Charge of District 1. In 2011, he graduated from the Southern Police Institute 125th Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville. In May, 2013 he was appointed to the position of Commander over the Operations Bureau by Chief of Police Leonard Papania. Commander Brown attended the Leadership Gulf Coast Class of 2015 with the Mississippi Coast Chamber.

Klain Garriga

Commander of Support Bureau

Klain GarrigaCommander Garriga is a 20 Year Veteran of the Gulfport Police Department. Commander Klain Garriga began his career as a Gulfport Police Reserve Officer in 1991. During his career he has served the Gulfport Police Department in the Patrol Division, Traffic Division, Training Division, and as Officer in Charge of the Administrative Services Division. He is a 1990 graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s Command Officers Course from the University of Louisville, Winter Park, FL. He has completed numerous Law Enforcement training courses during his career, specializing in Police Motorcycle Operation, Use of Force, Law Enforcement Liability, Workers Compensation and Police Supervision. Commander Garriga also serves as the department’s liaison to FEMA and MEMA for loss recovery following declared disasters. Commander Garriga is a Gulfport Native and a third generation Gulfport Police Officer. In August of 2013 he was appointed Commander of the Support Bureau by Chief Leonard Papania.

Chris Ryle

Commander of Professional Standards Bureau

Commander Chris Ryle is a 1989 graduate of St. John’s High School and is a lifelong residence of Gulfport, MS. Upon completion of high school he joined the United States Navy where he served until 1993 receiving an Honorable Discharge.  On January 04, 1998, Chris was hired by the Gulfport Police Department and attended the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy.  Upon completion of the academy he was assigned to the Patrol Division.  In October 1999 Chris was assigned as a collateral duty to the Gulfport Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team as an entry team member.  In January 2001, Chris was assigned to the Pro-Active Unit until June of that same year where he returned to the Patrol Division as a Field Training Officer. In February 2003, Chris was assigned to the Criminal Investigation’s Division as a Detective.  In December 2007, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant and held that position until January 2011, when he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant as the Officer-in-Charge of the Forensic Unit.  In October 2011, Chris was transferred back to the Criminal Investigation’s Division as the Officer-in-Charge of District Two.  In August 2012, Detective Lieutenant Ryle attended the 128th Administrative Officers Course of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.  In January 2013, Chris was temporarily assigned as the Officer-in-Charge of the Professional Standards Unit until May 2013 where it became a permanent assignment.  In March 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and was the Officer-in-Charge of the newly formed Professional Standards Bureau which includes Internal Affairs, background investigations, training, accreditation, and policy.  In October 2016 he was appointed to the rank of Commander by Chief Leonard Papania.

Commander Ryle holds an Associate’s of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Master’s of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from American Military University. Commander Ryle is an Adjunct Professor in Criminal Justice with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and William Carey University.  Commander Ryle is currently in the United States Coast Guard Reserves holding the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Mark Burns

Deputy Commander of Operations Bureau

Deputy Commander Mark Burns graduated from Harrison Central High School in 1975. He graduated with honors from University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Business. Mark Burns was hired July 1989 as a full time police officer with Gulfport Police Department. He attended and graduated the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy at USM Gulf Park Campus in November 1989. Mark Burns was assigned to the Gulfport Police Tactical Team from 1991 until 1993. He was promoted to Sergeant in the Patrol Division in 1994 and assigned to the newly annexed area of Gulfport. Mark Burns was promoted to Lieutenant in the Patrol Division in 1998. He was promoted to District Captain in the Operations Bureau in 2000. Mark Burns attended and graduated the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2006. He was promoted to Officer in Charge of Uniformed Patrol in 2006. Mark Burns was appointed to Deputy Commander of Operations in 2011 Chief Alan Weatherford. He was appointed again in May 2013 by Chief Leonard Papania.

Craig Petersen

Captain of Investigative Services

Captain Craig Petersen is a 20 year veteran officer of the Gulfport Police Department. He began his career in June of 1997 as a patrol officer and transferred to the detective division in May of 2000. He was promoted to Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division in November of 2002 and was promoted to Detective Lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations Division in January of 2005. In July of 2007 he was appointed as the Officer-In-Charge of the Detective Division for the Second District. In October of 2011 he was promoted to the rank of District Captain, and appointed as the Officer in Charge of the Patrol Division and the Criminal Investigations Division for the city’s Second District. In May of 2013, he was assigned as the Officer in charge of the Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division of the city’s First District. In July of 2014, he was assigned as the OIC of the Investigative Services Unit which is comprised of the Criminal Investigations Division, the Narcotics Division, and the Forensics Division. Captain Petersen is a 1985 Graduate of Gosnell High School, located in Gosnell Arkansas. Captain Petersen attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and in graduated with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi earning a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration. He earned a Master’s Degree in 2009 from Delta State University in Social Justice and Criminology. In 2005, Captain Petersen graduated from the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy (Fourth Session) held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Captain Petersen is also a 2011 graduate of the FBI National Academy (245th Session) in Quantico Virginia. Captain Petersen currently serves at First Vice President of the FBI National Academy Associates-Mississippi Chapter. Captain Petersen is also employed as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and at William Carey University, where he teaches criminal justice courses.

Neal Stachura

Captain of Patrol Services

Captain Neal Stachura is a 1991 graduate of Gulfport High School. He graduated from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College earning an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2001. Neal Stachura was hired as a full time police officer in December of 1993. He attended the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1994. In 1995, he was assigned to the departments K-9 unit where he served until 2003. In 1996, K-9 Officer Stachura was placed on the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team. In 2003, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the patrol division. In 2005, Sergeant Stachura was promoted to Lieutenant in the patrol division. In 2006, Lieutenant Stachura was placed in charge of the department’s fleet maintenance and technical services. In 2009, he graduated from the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville. In 2009, Lieutenant Stachura was placed in charge of the department’s dispatch center. In 2010, Lieutenant Stachura was placed back in the department’s patrol division. In 2011, he was promoted to position of Captain of Special Enforcement Services. In 2013, Captain Stachura was assigned to be the OIC of District Two.

Rob Enochs

Captain of Support Bureau

Captain Rob Enochs is a 1987 graduate of Harrison Central High School. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi earning a Bachelor of Degree in Arts in 2001, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from William Carey University in May of 2013. Rob Enochs was hired as a full time police officer by the Gulfport Police Department in August of 1995. He attended the Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy in 1995 and received the Sheriffs Star awarded to the top graduate. In 1996, Enochs was assigned to the Bicycle Patrol Unit.  In 1996, Captain Enochs was placed on the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team where he currently is still serving as the Tactical Commander.  In 1999, he was assigned as a Detective in the Department’s Narcotics Unit as a task force agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics attached to the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team. In 2002, Detective Enochs was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Street Crimes Unit. In 2005, Sergeant Enochs was assigned as a detective supervisor in the Gulfport Narcotics Unit.  In 2010, Enochs was promoted to Detective Lieutenant as the officer in charge of the Gulfport Police Narcotics Unit.  During his career he has attended multiple special weapons and tactics as well as drug investigation unit leadership training.  Enochs attended the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville in November of 2013.  July of 2014, Lieutenant Enochs was assigned as the officer in charge of the Training and Accreditation Unit.  Lieutenant Enochs supervised the process to receive accreditation of the Gulfport Police Department through the State of Mississippi in 2014.  Lieutenant Enochs was promoted to Captain of the Support Bureau in March of 2015 where he currently serves managing multiple divisions to include the School Resource Officers, Animal Control Officers, Court and Warrant Officers, oversees the Fleet Management, Budget and Procurement, as well as the Gulfport Dispatch Center and Information Management.  Captain Enochs also is currently serving in the Mississippi Army National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel with the 168th Engineer Brigade assigned as the Executive Officer.

Adam Cooper

Captain of Event Management Services

Captain Adam Cooper is a 1989 Graduate of Gulfport High School. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Forensic Science.  Adam Cooper was hired by the Gulfport Police Department in 1995 as a Community Service Technician and then hired as a full time patrol officer in 1996.  He then attended and graduated the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997.  In 2000, he was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division with the rank of Detective.  In 2005, Adam Cooper was promoted to Detective Sergeant assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division.  In 2010, he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant and Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Division for the first District.  In 2011, Adam Cooper attended and graduated from the Southern Police Institute’s Police Executive Leadership Graduate Program at the University of Louisville.  In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and made the Officer in Charge of Special Enforcement Division of the Gulfport Police Department.  Adam Cooper has also had numerous other collateral duty assignments during his tenure at the Gulfport Police Department.