September 21, 2005
Some Richmond County deputies are still helping to patrol the streets in Mississippi, leaving the sheriff’s office short-handed. News 12 is on your side with how officials are coping.
It’s a shift change in Richmond County, but not all deputies are on the schedule.
“Our guys are working the night shift and they’re supplementing the patrol down there,” said Colonel Gary Powell.
The sheriff’s office is down twelve deputies, since the state requested in volunteer manpower to the Gulf Coast. As a result, the crime suppression team, training and K-9 divisions and the DUI task force are all understaffed.
Deputies hit the road last week headed for Jackson County, Mississippi. They won’t return until October 1.
With two weeks of patrolling looters down south, officers are making arrests there they’d otherwise be making here.
“There are people still getting caught and drunks are still coming off the road, not as many as would be had I had two more bodies out there,” said Sgt. Pete Lamb.
But Colonel Gary Powell insists no department is suffering and no one’s safety is at risk, citing deputies who left are involved with special operations and rarely with day-to-day ones.
“We have good management here. We know how to use our resources,” Powell said.
“Members of that unit being out of the picture of a little while doesn’t put the city or county at risk by any stretch of the imagination,” Lamb said.
A perspective shared as these deputies head out to cover all the bases until their co-workers head home.