Clarke County sheriff unsure if alcohol will impact crime

CLARKE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Alcohol will soon be sold in Clarke County. One of the biggest concerns by citizens opposed to this decision has been how this will affect crime in the area.

"We'll have to deal with it on a day by day basis like we do everything else," Sheriff Todd Kemp says.

He says they're not sure exactly what to expect, but he says the existence of alcohol within county lines is nothing new.

"People have been traveling to various county lines to purchase it anyway, and we've always said Clarke County is the wettest dry county around," the sheriff says.

Municipalities are also working together to implement ordinances to make sure they can regulate the sale of alcohol.

"We are going to have to work together," Quitman Mayor Eddie Fulton says. "We are going to have to protect our kids, and we are going to have to enforce this ordinance."

And Sheriff Kemp says his office is working with the county attorney and board of supervisors to prepare an ordinance for the county. He says their biggest concern right now is putting a stop to the bars and taverns that tend to attract crime.

"The roadside taverns and such as that, we don't want to have to deal with that. So I'm going to have my input into this ordinance to hope that doesn't occur," Sheriff Kemp says.

And as for DUIs, the sheriff says it's not a huge worry.

"I don't believe it's going to be any more activity than it has been as far as drinking and driving," Sheriff Kemp says.

He says his main concern is protecting his people and his officers. . . and he'll take any new issue as it comes.