KEMPER COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - When the Scooba Police Department disbanded five months ago, protecting and serving the citizens and providing law enforcement protection became Kemper County Sheriff James Moore's' responsibility. Sheriff Moore and his deputies continue to provide that service.
An agreement for the department to officially take over went into effect this week.
"When they were actually in full existence, they were only covering eight hours out of the 24 hours and sometimes not even the eight hours,” said Moore.
Operating a police department can be a major financial burden for small towns like Scooba. In 2016, the nearby town of DeKalb dissolved its police force because it cost the town more than $250,000 a year to operate.
Sheriff Moore believes it was in Scooba's best interest for his deputies to take over.
"It’s a good decision because now they can give citizens over there the full might of the sheriff's department,” said Moore.
"We were still answering calls for Scooba when they were in existence as we were for DeKalb when they were still in operation so it's not a stretch, we just have to plan it and manage it,” said Moore.
In a statement, Mayor of Scooba Craig Nave told Newscenter 11 that Scooba has been without a police department since October. He and the board of alderman declined to comment any further on the matter.
"At some point in time if they feel like they can sustain their own selves, by all means they are good to run a police department again,” said Moore. “Until they're able to do that, we'll be taking care of their law enforcement issues."
Sheriff Moore said Scooba's PD was down to only one patrol car and one officer per shift before his department took over.