Les Tannehill was born in Jackson Mississippi and moved to Terry, MS when he was 5 years old where he attended school until he graduated. Les was in the Boy Scouts and served as troop leader. Les played basketball and football and his senior year was chosen all conference defensive end in their football division. Les graduated on the BETA Club and his junior year was nominated and chosen to the national organization, Who’s Who among Outstanding American High School Student for his church work, youth fellowship, community involvement, academic, 4-H and sports. This is an organization that represents 2 ½% of the 6,000,000 students enrolled in the junior and senior classes of the nation’s high schools in 1974. Les worked on a horse ranch in Terry, MS from the age of 15 until he was 18 years old. It was always his dream to be a veterinarian, but God had other plans for Les serving Him by serving mankind through law enforcement. God gave Les a servant’s heart, and his main goal has been working in the lives of others to make a difference, especially our youth.
In 1978 Les started that journey when he joined the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department under then Sheriff J D McAdory and working part-time with the Terry Police Department. In 1980 the Jackson Police Department was the place to be so Les applied and got accepted to the Jackson Police Department training academy. After sixteen weeks of a rigorous training course and starting with thirty-six recruits, on December 19, 1980, with only 19 recruits left standing, Les Tannehill took his oath of office finishing 8thout of his class.
While working with JPD while assigned to work in the Presidential Hills and Queens area, Les made it his personal mission to reach out to young African American males who had joined gangs and were headed down a wrong path. Les’ philosophy was he would rather attempt to save them rather than lock them up, which in many cases he achieved his goal.
In 1989 after a long and expensive court battle Les received sole custody of his two (2) year old daughter whom he raised alone until she was grown. In 1990 after a shift dispute which would have moved Les from a day shift to an evening shift, along with other officers, Les resigned from JPD because the evening shift would not allow Les to properly care for his infant daughter whom Les has always put first and foremost, even above himself.
When Malcolm Mcmillin was elected sheriff in 1992, Les went to work for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department in the jail and took a jail operations course. While at HCSO Les worked in patrol, warrants and in the Investigations department he worked as an investigator, where he worked his way up through the ranks until he became a sergeant and later a lieutenant. During his time at the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, Les formed both the Flex Unit and the Intelligence Division. Les also worked on multiple Federal Task forces with the FBI, ATF and the U S Marshal Service. During his career he was honored and humbled to have received ten officer of the year awards, sixty-one written accommodations. After leaving the HCSO Les started his own company Affirmative Investigations and Security where he now works closely with the youth on different summer camps and events where his company provides security.