Tuck thanks police chiefs at fall conference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck praised police chiefs for their work Wednesday while speaking on state issues at the fall conference of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police.

The association, of which Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff is the president, met this week at the Ramada Inn Hilltop.

&uot;You are truly the heroes of the State of Mississippi,&uot; Tuck said. &uot;God bless you and God bless our great state.&uot;

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She also thanked the families of the police chiefs for their support of a dangerous line of work.

&uot;They have a tremendous sacrifice and we recognize that,&uot; Tuck said.

Tuck spoke on a wide range of issues, such as the budget, education, and the economy, with an emphasis on school safety and crime. &uot;I am interested in doing whatever I can to work with you … so we can have safe communities for every Mississippian,&uot; she said.

In recent polls, residents cited crime and personal safety as their biggest concerns, Tuck said.

To improve public safety, one measure Tuck said she will focus on is a protection bill for senior citizens, which will require background checks for nursing home employees.

Another measure of interest to Tuck is a school safety act.

During this year’s legislative session, Congress passed a bill requiring background checks for school employees.

In the future, Tuck also would like to form a statewide center for school safety, to assist teachers take control of student discipline problems, require school safety plans, address juvenile drug and alcohol problems and provide more counselors for districts.

By reaching trouble students at an early age we can &uot;help them become achievers and not troubled failures,&uot; Tuck said.

In addition to focusing on a serious problem of students bringing weapons to school, the state also need to deal with students who simply refuse to behave in class.

&uot;We’ve got to help reestablish order in the lives of some of our students by reinforcing order in our schools,&uot; Tuck said.

Tuck also spoke briefly on a much debated law, requiring defendants to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. This has led to high incarceration costs for the state.

Because of the impact changing this law can have on crime, Tuck said the MACP will need to approve any changes.