Edwards joins Middlesboro Police Dept.

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

Major Edwards was officially sworn in as Middlesboro’s newest police officer last week and has already started patrolling the city’s streets.

Edwards, a Middlesboro native and 2015 graduate of MHS, joins the Middlesboro Police Department after working the last four and half years as a deputy with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.

He said it feels great to be working in his hometown.

“I’m originally from Middlesboro and I always wanted to work Middlesboro. I enjoyed working with the county, but Middlesboro is home for me,” Edwards said. “The transfer over has been smooth. There’s nothing more I could ask of them. I’m happy where I’m at — I was happy with the county, but it obviously makes you happy to get to go and work in your home town.”

MPD Chief Petie Gilbert said the department was happy to get Edwards on board.

“He’s a local boy and everybody likes him. He’s a good police officer, he’s been around with the county now for several years so he knows what’s going on,” Gilbert said. “I’m just happy to get him over here now, he’s a great guy.”

Gilbert said hiring Edwards gets the Middlesboro Police force up to full staff for now. Lt. Josh Burchett will be retiring effective  March 1.

“We’re getting ready to start that hiring process. We want to find somebody and have them go through the Academy,” he said. “That’s probably a six to eight month process. The problem, after you find the right person, is getting them into the class. The Academy classes fill up so quickly. There’s one in July, but they won’t hold a spot for you until you have a name.”

Gilbert said that was one other positive about bringing Edwards over from the Sheriff’s Department.

“He’s already certified so that works out great for us,” he said. “But I think we’re going to leave the county alone. We had several come over under the last administration. I talked to (Sheriff) Mitch (Williams) and he was understanding about Major. They kind of suspected that might be coming and had pre-planned to have somebody ready to take his place.”