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News Governor Tate Reeves Presents 2020 Excellence in Government Awards

Created On: 11/5/2020 3:50:43 PM

Governor Tate Reeves honored Jeworski Mallett and Russel James with the 2020 Excellence in Government Awards.  The foundation of these awards is to encourage the development of innovative systems of public administration.  In 2012, the Mississippi State Personnel Board established and presented the inaugural Mississippi Excellence in Government Awards program at the direction of the Mississippi Legislature.

The recipient of the Excellence in State Government Award is Jeworski “Jay” Mallett.  Mallett is the deputy commissioner of institutions at MDOC.  Prior to starting this position in 2020, he served as director of records, a role he held since 2013.  He began his career in the correctional system almost 19 years ago as a correctional officer.  As deputy commissioner, he is responsible for ultimately lifting the 2020 institutional lockdowns at MDOC facilities including Parchman and returning to normal operations, even in the midst of a pandemic. Under his leadership, staff and inmates attribute an overall more positive culture at MDOC.

The recipient of the Excellence in Local and District Government Award is Russel James. Russel James has served as the chief of police for the City of Richland since 2002.  He has improved the Richland Police Department by creating a drug interdiction unit that seized massive amounts of illegal narcotics and currency, and these proceeds were utilized to build a state-of-the-art training facility and new police department at no cost to taxpayers.  He also created an award-winning Police K-9 division.  Under his leadership, the police department implemented new technology initiatives, which led to the city collecting more than $2 million in outstanding fines.  Chief James also created a traffic division with motorcycles to assist with funeral processions and a unit to proactively pursue illicit drug users and dealers.

“Each day, thousands of government employees provide quality services to all Mississippians,” said Governor Reeves. “Today, we celebrate the achievement of two individuals that have demonstrated a commitment to their work and those they serve.”

MSPB Executive Director Kelly Hardwick said, “This year’s recipients demonstrate dedication to service, even in the most challenging times.  It is an honor to join Governor Reeves in recognizing these outstanding individuals.”

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