Former MPD director Melvin Burgess Sr. dies

Melvin Burgess Sr. in 2013

MEMPHIS, Tenn.  — Melvin Burgess Sr., former Memphis police director, died Thursday morning, WREG has learned.

Starting his career within the Memphis Police Department in 1962, Burgess rose through the ranks of the department working everything from homicides, robberies and juvenile crimes to being on vice and narcotics squads.

In 1992, he was selected as former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s police director. He continued to serve in the position until 1994 when he was selected as the head of Harrah Casino’s Security Division.

In all, he served with the department for more than three decades.

He was the father of Shelby County Commissioner Melvin Burgess, and served on their transition team after Mayor Jim Strickland’s election.

Strickland, on Facebook, asked Memphians to keep the Burgess family in their prayers.

“He served our city for many years at MPD, including as police director. And his advice was valuable to me when he served on our transition team,” Strickland said.