Officer Sabio steps in as Biloxi PD Chaplain

The Biloxi Police Department welcomes a new chaplain after the passing of Robert Burriss. Officer Reuben Sabio is taking on the responsibility of being a pillar of support within the department.

Officer Robert McKeithen was murdered outside the Biloxi Police Department in 2019. The department keeps his memory alive.  McKeithen’s patrol car – emblazoned with an officer memorial graphic – is now the responsibility of Officer Reuben Sabio, the newly-appointed chaplain.

Sabio replaces longtime chaplain and personal friend Robert Burriss, whom he called the father of the department’s investigations division. Chaplain Burriss retired from investigations in the 2000s but continued to assist officers during ride-a-longs, which is how he met Sabio. The department’s new chaplain has some big duty boots to fill.

Day to day, police tackle a multitude of roles on the street, even acting as counselor to some civilians. Now, since Burriss’ passing in February, Sabio takes on some of those same roles for his fellow officers. “Unfortunately, some officers are struggling, either with substance abuse, the consecutive trauma we see- – it’s not easy to turn that off. Just because you get off at six in the morning, six at night, you go home and you’re still a human being. You still see a lot of things. You still feel the emotion.”

Sabio was in the middle of his retirement paperwork when Chief John Miller offered him the duty of being chaplain. Sabio threw out the paperwork and got back in his patrol car. “We have to back each other up. Officers are going through a lot of things. Just because we wear a badge, a gun, a uniform, off duty we’re still husbands, we’re still sons.”

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