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Governor announces new Department of Public Safety hires

Reeves announces new leadership team hires.
Reeves announces new leadership team hires.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi and our capital city are in constant conversations on how to handle the crime wave. Wednesday, the Governor announced new leaders on the public safety team that he says will contribute to changing the trends.

“We know that are having a capital city that is vibrant, that is safe, that is secure, that attracts young people and young families into the city is critically important to the future, the long term economic future of our state,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

There are a lot of what’s next and detailed questions about how to do that. But they say the first step has to be...more people. Some leadership roles are first being filled. Major Charles Haynes was named Mississippi Bureau of Investigation director, Bo Luckey will be the new Capitol Police chief and Joshue Shipp will serve as the assistant chief.

Past leadership, Capitol Police will be focused on boosting its numbers.

“We’re expecting a large funding of more than 30 new positions within Capitol Police,” explained newly-hired Capitol Police Chief Bo Luckey. “We will be launching one of the largest scale recruitment efforts this area seen in quite some while and we plan on trying to institute a very competitive pay structure and rank structure. All in all, these efforts should result in a larger police presence here in the capital city complex.”

Beyond manpower, comes a jurisdiction question. Some city and county leaders have said the Capitol Police needed to do more. But Commissioner Sean Tindell says he views their role as a force multiplier.

“The Jackson Police Department is the primary...has the primary jurisdiction in the city of Jackson, okay?” said Governor Reeves.

We asked Commissioner Sean Tindell if there was an agreement in place about who responds to which areas. There’s not.

“Don’t think it takes a written agreement,” noted Tindell. “We’re willing to work and be the partners, if they want to do an MOU, and we can sit down and work out an agreement. I’m all for that, too.”

He admits the role of Capitol Police will likely keep changing as their numbers grow.

“We’re working towards being able to be the primary law enforcement agency for the Capital Improvement District,” added Tindell. “We think that’s a good plan. We’re not there yet. But that’s certainly where I’d like to see it go.”

The end goal is for Capitol Police to get staffed to 150 officers. They have the funding to add 37 this year. And anticipate getting funding for around the same number next year to get to full staffing.

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