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Sean Tindell reflects on first 120 days

Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell reflects on his first 120 days on the job.
Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell reflects on his first 120 days on the job.(WLBT)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - The new commissioner at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety has been at the post for 120 days now. And he has already made some changes.

A lot of people have those dreaded stories from the drivers license station.

“Used to you’d come and sit for hours on end and sometimes wouldn’t even get seen,” said Duane Clark, who has been frustrated with previous experiences.

Sean Tindell set out to change this when he took on the role of commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

“Firearm permit renewals now are mail-in only which, again, is cutting down on lines at the drivers license services. And then we have the Skip the Line cams. See what kind of lines are there before they ever arrive,” Tindell said.

Some changes are already being seen as Mississippians are now making appointments through the new Skip the Line system.

“It’s a lot better,” said Cathy Bailey. “I was pleasantly surprised at how few people were here and how organized it was.”

Tindell admits he was nervous about his lack of law enforcement background.

“But I can tell you when you oversee 1,100 employees, many of which are not law enforcement, having good management skills and a business background plays a key role,” Tindell said.

He has worked to surround himself with others who have that law enforcement background, naming a new director for the Bureau of Narcotics that has new challenges as of late.

“Fentanyl and some of the deaths we’ve had on college campuses with overdoses. In addition to some of the opioid crisis is coming back, particularly with COVID,” said the commissioner.

A new medical examiner has been hired for the coast office and more techs are to be added.

“The homicide rate has increased and we’re looking at a large number of homicides this year. And so with that, there are additional autopsies have to be done and we’ve got to find ways that we’re doing those in a timely manner,” said Tindell.

As for safety on the roads, Tindell is hoping to have an annual trooper school moving forward.

“Every year, add troopers based upon the number of retirees we have coming up,” said Tindell.

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