Exchange Club honors Picayune police officer

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Picayune Exchange Club honored one of Picayune’s police officers as part of National Fire and Crime Prevention month.

The organization honored Picayune Police officer Lt. Chad Dorn at a luncheon Wednesday for his years of service and dedication to the department and to the city.

Dorn began his career in law enforcement in 2002 as a patrol officer. In 2003 he worked as a school resource officer for Picayune Memorial High School, for one semester, he said. In 2004, Dorn transferred to the traffic division, which was established that year, and a became the first motorcycle officer in the department’s history, according to his biography.

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Today, there are four motorcycles in the department, and as of Oct. 1, the department now has two grant funded DUI officers, Dorn said.

In his six years of service, Dorn has organized a number of motorcycle rides that raised money for local charities, climbed the ranks to become Lieutenant of the Traffic Division and earned him the respect of his fellow officers and the community, Exchange member Joey Temples said at the presentation.

Temples then presented Dorn with a plaque honoring him as an outstanding police officer.

During the luncheon, Police Chief Jim Luke had an opportunity to discuss the many activities in which the department is involved, such senior patrol, Pick it up Picayune, the department’s work to update and enforce the noise ordinance and its constantly expanding Web site.

Luke said the department’s senior patrol is self-sufficient and is always looking for funding. He showed club members a video out lining the Pick It Up Picayune campaign to cleanup litter in the city.

The updated noise ordinance will help keep the streets of the city a little bit quieter. A couple of Exchange Club members wanted to know how the department will set out to enforce the updated ordinance, which will be enforced with the Crank It Up and Pay Up program.

Luke said that as with all police work, enforcement will be up to an officer’s discretion.

“In a police department (it) is all about judgment,” Luke said. “We’re going to write citations to the ones we really think need citations.”

The department has issued 87 noise ordinance citations in the past couple of months, Dorn said.

“All of you have been at a red light and had your windows vibrating and the fillings in your teeth vibrating,” Dorn said.

He said many times the offending vehicle with the loud radio is eight cars back. Signs, flyers and media announcements will inform citizens about the effort to enforce the new ordinance. The new ordinance will go into effect in 30 days after legal publication in the newspaper.

Fines for offenses will begin at $250, and can reach up to $1,000 for repeat offenders. The municipal judge also has the option to require community service in lieu of a fine or jail time, Luke said.

Two police bikes donated to the department through the money-raising efforts of Picayune Main Street will help the department to catch people violating the noise ordinance, Dorn said. Bikes are harder for motorists to see and will allow officers to catch people with loud radios before they get a chance to turn them down.

Mostly the department will be looking for excessively loud radios and instances of loud music with vulgar lyrics.

“The big boom boxes that are really disturbing the peace,” Dorn said.

Another option citizens will have to report noise violators is the department’s Web site. Citizens are able to submit reports of noise violations, crimes, and within the next 30 days, will be able to get statistics of where crimes and accidents occur in the city, Luke said. Also the Pick it Up Picayune and Senior Patrol videos are available for viewing on the Web site.

Luke said the department appreciates Suzanne Sheen for her volunteer work designing the Web site, Bill Edwards for his work with video and communications and Carolyn Terry for her photography on the Web site.