Wednesday morning, President Obama announced the nomination of New Albany native Dennis J. Erby to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi. Erby currently serves as a Supplemental Compliance Monitor for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and Planning. His wife Linder works as the Clerk of Justice Court in Columbus.
Erby became one of the first African-American members of the Mississippi Highway Patrol in 1978, and steadily rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He was a member of the Mississippi National Guard from 1974 to 1980, has a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and graduated from the National FBI Academy.
Erby is best known in Columbus for his extensive involvement and leadership in community programs such as 100 Black Men and The United Way. Erby is a founding member of the Columbus and Golden Triangle chapter of 100 Black Men, a group that mentors African-American teenagers throughout their formative years. Erby has served as treasurer and secretary of the group for years. Dennis and Linder Erby are also very visible supporters of the Columbus United Way program, supporting various programs and events throughout the year. Erby also recently served as the fundraising co-chair for The United Way. [It was rumored earlier this year that Erby was considering running for Lowndes County Sheriff. Had he chose to run for the office, many political experts felt that he would have been considered the frontrunner-Ed]
President Obama announced the nomination, which must be approved by the U.S. Senate. Obama also nominated Edward M. Spooner, a Florida native, to serve as U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Florida. President Obama issued the following statement to the media on Wednesday:
“Dennis J. Erby and Edward M. Spooner have dedicated their career to protecting their fellow citizens,” said President Obama. “They have displayed courage and persistence in the pursuit of justice, and I am honored to nominate them today to continue their selfless work on behalf of the people of Mississippi and Florida as U.S. Marshals.”
Mr. Erby could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.