Part-time deputies preparing

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

Natchez &8212; Adams County&8217;s finest may soon be a bit more diverse &8212; at least part-time.

Two months after Adams County Sheriff Ronny Brown announced plans to form a sheriff&8217;s reserve academy, the applicants are getting ready to take their physicals later this month.

&8220;We have probably 35 applications,&8221; Brown said Wednesday. &8220;We&8217;re hoping to have 20 who will make it through the class.&8221;

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The group of would-be deputies is a motley crew of sorts, Brown said, but one that represents all facets of the county&8217;s population.

Initial applicants include several housewives who are interested in law enforcement, a physician, a veterinarian, a mechanic and several firemen.

&8220;It&8217;s just a roundabout good group,&8221; Brown said. &8220;We think we&8217;re going to do great with it.&8221;

In addition to Adams County residents, Brown said he believes sheriffs from nearby Mississippi counties may also send a few applicants.

The physical qualifying will be held May 27 at the Natchez High School track.

Exact requirements depend upon the age and sex of the applicants, Brown said, but will included a timed distance run, completing a set number of pushups and completion of an agility course.

&8220;We&8217;ve screened them and we&8217;ve got some good people,&8221; Brown said.

After completion of the physical qualifying, the 10-week course will begin on June 12.

Students will attend classes from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Reserve deputies will complete more than 200 hours of instruction. Full-time deputies receive 400 hours.

After training, the reserve deputies may be used during staffing shortages or high-demand events such as the balloon races. In addition, the reserves will be a skilled pool from which the sheriff&8217;s office can hire when full-time openings arise.

Instructors will include Adams County Circuit Court judges Lillie Blackman Sanders and Forrest &8220;Al&8221; Johnson, Justice Court Judge Charlie Vess, District Attorney Ronnie Harper, Natchez-Adams Metro Narcotics Task Force Cmdr. Cliff Cox and other experts within the state.