Willie Owens named JFD’s interim chief

Willie Owens (Photo: JFD)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — One of the first African-Americans hired by the Jackson Fire Department has been named as the interim chief.

Willie Owens started with the department in 1974. He worked his way up and became a division chief.

He tells WJTV that he initially retired in 2005, but Chokwe Lumumba named him as fire chief when he was elected mayor.

Once Tony Yarber was elected, R. D. Simpson replaced Owens. Simpson left the job in October to take a position in California.

Owens said he came out of retirement once again under Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s administration.

He is now the interim chief of the department.


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