New sheriff hires new chief investigator

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Under the investigative direction of Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department’s new Chief Investigator, more convictions in criminal cases are expected.

Chief Investigator Shane Tucker brings more than a decade of investigative experience gathered at the Hattiesburg Police Department and the 15th District Attorney’s office.

Before joining the Sheriff’s Department, Tucker worked with the 15th District Attorney’s office under Buddy McDonald and Hal Kitrell. His law enforcement career began with the Forrest County Sheriff’s department as a corrections officer before joining the Hattiesburg Police Department in 1994. During his 12 and a half years with the Hattiesburg Police Department he served as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator before resigning as lieutenant with the investigations division.

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“I’ve got a lot of good training and worked for a lot of good people over the years,” Tucker said.

To improve upon the crime scene division Tucker said he would like to increase the staff, training and tools to make his investigators the best at what they do.

“The goal is that when someone has a criminal case made in Pearl River County, they might as well plead guilty cause there’s going to be a conviction,” Tucker said.

Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said Tucker’s experience with the District Attorney’s office will help the department with cases.

“He understands what the District Attorney’s office needs to get convictions,” Allison said.

When the manpower and budget are worked out, Tucker said he would like to see the department form its own crime scene investigation unit. That unit will afford the department the means to process evidence on scene or at the department instead of sending it to outside agencies, he said. A crime lab is not planned since the cost is more than Pearl River County could cover. Tucker does hope to have the crime scene investigation unit off the ground within the next few years, if everything goes as planned.

Some tools Tucker hopes to add include video enhancement equipment, fingerprinting chemicals, storage facilities and a ventilated area to handle chemicals used for fingerprinting and examinations.

While the cost of the unit may be a hurdle, Tucker said it can be done.

“If we get the people trained and they have the experience and tools they need to do the job, we’re going to wreak havoc on the bad guys,” Tucker said.

The aim is to continuously improve the department to provide the county with the level of law enforcement it deserves, Allison said.

Born in California, Tucker has been a resident of Pearl River County since 1992. His maternal grandparents’ roots run deep in the county. Both were born in Carriere. Tucker’s father served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 30 years before moving to Pearl River County upon his retirement, shortly after Tucker moved here. Tucker’s father is now the chief pilot for Rescue 7, according to a release from the department. Tucker’s wife, Gloria, is employed with AAA Ambulance Service. Tucker and his wife have four children and a grandson, the release states.

Before Tucker joined law enforcement he served four years with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, he said.