Many questions linger in staffing proposal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2001

It seems Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff could be taking on additional responsibilities this fall.

The Natchez mayor and aldermen voted Tuesday to endorse a suggestion from the Adams County Board of Supervisors that would give Huff oversight and responsibility for the detention center at the juvenile justice center.

The center, scheduled to be open this fall, will house both detention and court facilities for Adams County juveniles, as well as a variety of family and youth service programs.

And, while the project has been planned and under way for several years now, the questions surrounding responsibility and oversight of the center still are being resolved.

And, while we have confidence in Chief Huff’s capabilities and his abilities to run the detention center, we echo Alderwoman Sue Stedman’s point that many questions remain unanswered.

What, exactly, does the job entail? What would his hours be? What would he be doing? Will it bring additional compensation, and, if so, would that compensation come from the city or the juvenile justice center’s budget?

Will the detention staff at the new center be separate, or a part of, the Natchez police force? How will Huff juggle the responsibilities of running the city’s police department with running a juvenile detention facility? And many more.

It’s an interesting proposal, but one that bears more examination and more explanation.

Time is short. The center is scheduled to open in about 90 days. And many questions remain.

This is one that the citizens of Natchez and Adams County deserve to have resolved soon.