Owens wants to bring in federal grant dollars

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — After numerous attempts to contact sheriff candidate Roosevelt Owens Jr. for an interview, no personal contact was made.

However, the Democrat received a letter Wednesday highlighting Owens’ career and platforms.

For 24 years, Roosevelt Owens Jr. worked to protect the people of Natchez and the state of Mississippi.

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This story is part of a series of stories featuring the eight candidates for Adams County Sheriff. The candidates were featured in alphabetical order between Oct. 5-8.

And after five years of retirement, Owens says he hopes to serve the people of Adams County in the role of sheriff.

Owens began his law enforcement career in 1980 when he started working for the Natchez Police Department as a patrolman.

“Due to my contact with the citizens of the community, I made numerous arrests in major crimes and drugs,” Owens’ statement said.

After spending four years with the NPD, Owens began a closer working relationship with the state of Mississippi.

“In 1984, I initially started the Metro Narcotics Unit in Adams County that worked under the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Unit whose jurisdiction included the entire 82 counties,” Owens’ statement said.

While working with the narcotic unit, Owens was assigned to the Mississippi Drug Task Force.

It was also around this time in his career that Owens was deputized a sworn deputy for the state of Louisiana.

Owens spent 10 years working with the drug unit and then left to go back to work in 1994 as an investigator at the place where his career began — the NPD.

“As an investigator, my job entailed solving major crimes. I worked this capacity until my retirement on Jan. 30, 2004,” Owens’ statement said.

According to Owens’ letter, the experiences Owens has gained throughout his career will help keep Adams County safe.

“My goal as sheriff is to have an open door policy with all the citizens of Adams County, Mississippi,” the statement said. “This will help to bridge the gap between the citizens and law enforcement which will lead to greater crime prevention.”

Owens said more availability of day-time deputies within communities across Adams County and continued funding of the Neighborhood Watch and DARE programs is something he wants to see.

Also, bringing grants into the county will be a priority to help fund the changes he hopes to see.

“As sheriff-elect, I will try to get every federal grant that is available to the sheriff department that will not cost taxpayers any money,” Owens’ statement said.