Will serve as assistant chief for Pass Police Department

The Pass Christian Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted to hire Daren Freeman as the city’s new deputy police chief.

Alderwoman Regina Charlot and Alderman Anthony Hall both voted against the appointment, saying they hadn’t been given enough background information.

Freeman, who served 23 years with the Mississippi Highway Patrol heading up the Internal Affairs Division, was recently the center of controversy. About a month ago, Freeman resigned as Chief of Police at the Bay St. Louis Police Department amid allegations of police brutality.

Freeman was accused of the use of excessive force during an arrest in May 2017. Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre told the Seacoast Echo he was not aware of the incident or any video footage until he was contacted by the Hancock County Sheriffs Department later in September.

“I’ve seen the footage, it shows the chief restraining the suspect during the arrest,” Favre said at the time. The video was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At least one law enforcement official who said he has seen the video said under the condition of anonymity that Freeman did not appear to use excessive force. Officials would not confirm by press time whether the investigation is still open.

Freeman, who previously resided in Pass Christian, said he is very excited to began his new career with the department.

“It’s a blessing,” Freeman said. “My family and I love the people of the Pass and we’re looking forward to being a part of the community again.”

Freeman said he is moving forward from the allegations against him. He also praised the officers with whom he once served.

“The men and women did so well under my authority. I am proud of the officers at the Bay St. Louis Department and the progress that has been made.”

The line item for the hire was on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting; however, Freeman’s name was omitted.

City leaders said Freeman has completed all civil service requirements and the position will have a one-year probationary period as requested by Police Chief Tim Hendricks.

Story by Stacey Cato