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‘Chat with the Sheriff’: Technology a tool to solve as well as prevent crime

By Anna Coates
Sheriff Byron Swilley and staff met with constituents for “Chat with the Sheriff” at the Copiah County Safe Room Aug. 20 to address questions and concerns from those present.
A concerned citizen from the County Line community described road racing at all hours, ATVs on public roads, running stop signs, and thefts of equipment and property. Swilley and deputies replied that this disregard for safety of the perpetrators and others is a daily occurrence in every community, not just in Copiah County but all over the state.
“Facts are,” said the sheriff, “I would love to catch every one of these lawbreakers. These daredevils have a better lookout and alarm system than we do – they’re always gone by the time we arrive on the scene. More manpower and equipment, authority to use radar in the county, and better instant communication would help. Readily available descriptions of equipment and property, serial numbers, current tag and VIN numbers on trailers and vehicles (all this can be stored on your phone) – and strategically placed cameras, even deer cameras – these tools go a long way toward solving these cases. Please, no keys left in any implements or vehicles. Thieves can and will take property right out of your yard, trailer and all. If you think you’ve hidden it, they will find it.
“We aim to update you whenever we get added information regarding your case. If you are not receiving timely notifications, please call the office (601-892-2023 or 601-894-3011).
Investigators are usually working several cases at once. Ask our public relations coordinator, Mrs. Regina Meadors, to direct your call.”
Chief Deputy Jeremy Thornton added, “Law enforcement, first responders, and medical personnel must be able to quickly find your location. If you’ve erected an address marker, please put it on your residence itself as well as on your mailbox. If you live off the road or down a lane, mark the main road, too. Remember, while your landline can identify your location, your cell phone will only give the location of the nearest cell tower.

Read the full story in the September 2, 2020 E-Edition