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Mississippi Homeland Security Officials Give Boost to Local Law Enforcement

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 06 Mar 2013 05:19pm | comments
About 60 representatives of local law enforcement agencies are participating in a workshop sponsored by the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.

Sheriffs and police chiefs across Mississippi now have access to extra man power during intense situations. And as MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports it's based on collaboration  with the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security. 

Law enforcement officials don't always have  adequate manpower to call on in the event of an emergency. This week in Jackson law officials from across the state are learning about programs conducted through the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security that can help bolster their needs and save lives. James Lee, Director of Training and operations with the Department of Homeland Security  says one such program involves the possibility of an active shooter in schools.

"People have shifted their attention in harmful ways. What is more precious or important than a child. So as a parent I want everything possible to protect my child when he or she is in school. So those safety programs, those security measures we put out there, I find them to be paramount."   

In addition to manmade catastrophes, Homeland Security officials are also teaching  local law enforcement officers to work with neighboring agencies when it comes to natural disasters. Meridian Police Officer Michael Street points to destruction frequently caused by tornadoes in Mississippi as a prime example.

"Once that happens that law enforcement entity and that fire entity is going to be tasked because there members themselves are going to be effected by the tornado. Well what homeland security can do then is call up reinforcements to come into that town to supplement the manpower and to render aid to the victims."

For Sheriff James Hayworth of Sunflower County the collaborative efforts are  especially valuable for rural communities with limited resources.

"I mean you could have a courthouse shooting, you could have so many things. You know it's not the big areas anymore it’s the small areas and when you need help, you need help."

The collaboration efforts between local law enforcement and Homeland Security officials began as a result of hurricane Katrina Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

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About 60 representatives of local law enforcement agencies are participating in a workshop sponsored by the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.


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