Patrol division is “backbone”of agency

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 22, 2014

In my April column, I explained the responsibilities of our jail staff. A large percentage of those pre-trial inmates are brought in by our patrol division. In this column, I would like for you to become acquainted with our patrol division, the “backbone” of any law enforcement agency.

The reason patrol deputies are referred to as the “backbone” is due to the fact that these men and women are on the front line. Some refer to them as the uniformed division, as they represent our department wearing the law enforcement uniform and operating our marked patrol vehicles.

Our patrol division work twelve hour shifts and are assigned to either a day or night shift. We currently have four patrol deputies on duty 24 hours a day. Two swing shift deputies are assigned to work during the peak hours of operation. Our two DUI deputies work similar schedules as the swing shift. This provides six deputies on duty during those peak hours. Keep in mind that Pearl River County is about 820 square miles. Each of our patrol deputy’s drive an average of 275 – 300 miles per 12 hour shift.

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The calls for service that our patrol deputies respond to include, traffic accidents, domestic abuse, larceny, burglary, assaults, shootings, litter, and death investigations to name a few. They are also responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, civil complaints, security checks of businesses, and community interaction. This is an awesome responsibility that requires continuous training. Training these men and women is something that I am committed to. Training not only makes them safer, but also helps them to be more knowledgeable and professional while serving this county.

Each of our patrol shifts are assigned a K-9 deputy. All of our K-9 deputies receive extensive training with their dog in the areas of narcotic detection, tracking, and apprehension to become certified. They are required to work with their dogs daily and also attend a monthly training session.

Law enforcement is a dangerous profession. These men and women in uniform are the first to respond to dangerous and sometimes, life threatening calls. Not only does it take special people to do this job, it takes spouses and family members supporting them. It is stressful for our deputy’s families and I believe we owe them our gratitude for their sacrifice.

I am very proud of our patrol division, their hard work and long hours. We constantly strive for improvement, but I believe Pearl River County is a better and safer place because of them.

Please keep them in your prayers.