By DUNCAN DENT and COLEMAN EAKES
Supervisors have approved more than $160,000 in new equipment for the Sheriff’s Office that includes new Tasers and patrol vehicles.
Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark submitted proposals to the Board of Supervisors for new Tasers and three new police interceptor SUVs at the meeting on Monday.
Clark said that his office has built momentum since he took over about three years ago but that new equipment is needed to continue to move forward.
“The department has continued to improve since I got here but we cannot be satisfied with where we are at,” Clark said.
He noted that his officers currently have Tasers that are “deteriorating” and they are not able to upkeep.
Concerning the vehicles, Clark said he had a patrol vehicle die on an officer this weekend when he went home on his lunch break. He said that the vehicle was towed and that another vehicle was available but that meant the new vehicle would be in service seven days a week while the other vehicle was in the shop.
“Excessive wear can instantly be life threatening in police patrol, due to cars dependency of aged sensors that are in control of steering, breaking and traction,” Clark said.
The total request is $120,000 for the police interceptor SUV’s and $43,200 for the 12-X7 Tasers.
The board decided to bid for a less expensive version of the 12-X7 Tasers and Clark agreed as long as they were comparable to the 12-X7 Tasers.
Clark said that the vehicles will still have to undergo the bid process but that he hoped to be able to cover the cost of the Tasers through a forfeited weapons sale that ended on Monday.
Clark said he did not yet know how much the sale had made. The sale featured more than 75 fire arms that had been seized, forfeited or otherwise unclaimed over the years.
Clark said he is pleased to see the board move forward on these items but had noted that this was his third time asking for the proposed items.
Clark prepared a letter stating his previous request made back in July 2021 and his most recent request in January 2022.
Clark reminded supervisors in the letter that state law says the Sheriff may request funds needed for the operations of the Sheriff’s Office annually.
“This third request is to replace patrol units that have high mileage and show signs of excessive wear. Excessive wear can instantly be life threatening in police patrol, due to cars dependency of aged sensors that are in control of steering, braking and traction. Neshoba County Sheriff Deputies’ safety is my first priority in protecting this County. Neshoba County Sheriff’s Deputies are committed to serving others.
“These deputies go to work each day not knowing challenges lay before them or what threat they may encounter. The day may hold a high speed chase or a close encounter with a weapon. Our deputies are well trained and committed to making Neshoba County a …….