Gulfport Chief of Police Leonard Papania announces plans for retirement

Leonard J. Papania, Chief of Police for the City of Gulfport, announced his plans for retirement.  Chief Papania will retire on August 30, 2020.  Papania has served as Chief of Police since May 2013. He has been with the Gulfport Police Department over twenty-five years.

Papania is the son of Bernard and the late Estelle Papania of Gulfport.  He is married to Angela Papania.  He has three sons, James (Emily) Papania, Nicholas Papania, and Bennett Papania, one daughter, Rosemary Papania, and two granddaughters.

Papania began his career with the Gulfport Police Department in April 1991 when he became a reserve police officer.  In November 1994, he gained a full-time position as a police officer.  During his career he has served in the Patrol Division, the Narcotics Division, and the Professional Standards Unit.  He served as a Task Force Agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and as a Task Force Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration.  He was appointed as Commander of Operations in February of 2006.  And in July of 2009, he was appointed as Deputy Chief of Police.

“I have always believed that policing is a noble profession.  It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Gulfport. I am proud to wear our badge.“

Papania will continue his service to the Gulf Coast Community after he retires.  He has accepted a position as Director of Youth Services with the Open Doors Homeless Coalition in Gulfport. “Over my years in policing I have formed a strong bond with our community.  It is truly a blessing to remain in service to it.”

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