By Alyssa Schnugg
After serving as the commander of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit for four years, Rod Waller has officially retired.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill read a resolution recognizing Waller’s time as commander during the regular meeting of the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday.
“His comprehensive knowledge of his job, his dedication to the city of Oxford and Lafayette County will be hard to replace,” stated the resolution.
Waller took over as commander in January 2016. He said it was his third “tour” in Oxford. He attended the University of Mississippi and then returned to Oxford in 1991 when he was assigned to the Oxford Resident Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He left Oxford in 2017 to work in Brazil for the DEA and in 2001 he worked in the Memphis office of the DEA until taking the commander position in Oxford in 2016.
He told the mayor and aldermen he and his wife were returning home to spend time with their daughters and their first grandchild.
Waller was hired when the Metro Narcotics Unit came under heavy scrutiny after a CBS 60 Minutes segment brought national attention to narcotics units’ controversial use of college-aged students as confidential informants.
“When I first arrived, things were dark in Metro,” Waller said Tuesday. “We had received some bad publicity and not viewed positively by the public. However, the whole unit made changes to the way things were done. I feel we can now take pride in the fact that we brought Metro back to a place where it is thought of in high regard.”
Waller thanked his co-workers and the Board of Aldermen for their continued support of the unit. He received a framed copy of the resolution.
The board also approved advertising for applications to fill Waller’s position.