City looking at releasing police findings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 11, 2001

NATCHEZ – City officials said Tuesday they will soon decide how to publicize the results of investigations into police complaints aired at an Oct. 17 meeting.

City Attorney Walter Brown said he would meet as soon as possible with Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West, chairman of the Board of Aldermen’s Police Committee, to figure out the procedure the city will use.

&uot;We’re ready to proceed&uot; with the police department’s findings on the complaints, Police Chief Willie Huff told aldermen during the board’s Tuesday morning meeting.

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Complaints aired in the Oct. 17 meeting ranged from alleged racial profiling and harassment to beatings by police, ticket and arrest quotas and unfair firing of police officers.

No date was set for aldermen to reconvene on the matter.

In Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith announced that a recreation meeting would be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 in the city’s council chambers.

The meeting will be held to brief city, county and school district officials on the results of the National Park Service’s archeological study of the &uot;beanfield&uot; property north of Natchez High.

As it now stands, the city hopes to locate the planned St. Catherine Creek Recreational Complex at the &uot;beanfield&uot; site.

The study, released last week, recommended that 7.3 acres of the 46.6-acre site be excluded from the development due to their archeological significance.

Smith said he hopes that an agreement can be finalized at that meeting under which the city, county and school district would jointly run and fund a countywide recreation program.

Also in Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen voted to approve a $9,795 change order to install concrete panels on the front of the convention center, with Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux and Alderman Ricky Gray voting against the motion.

The original panels had to be modified to fit, said City Engineer David Gardner. &uot;This was an unanticipated cost, but it come out of the same (convention center) fund,&uot; he said.