Mayfield sworn in as sheriff

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009

NATCHEZ — After being sworn into office on Friday, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield’s first action as sheriff was to swear in three new sheriff deputies — Danny Barber, David Lindsey and Debbie Gee.

Barber, who has worked at the Natchez Police Department for the last eight years, was originally one of Mayfield’s opponents in the sheriff’s race. Barber dropped out of the race in October saying he didn’t have time to campaign.

Barber, Mayfield, Gee and Lindsey worked together as ASCO deputies under former Sheriff Tommy Ferrell, and each has a new appointed role within the office.

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“I’ve got (Danny Barber) who is going to be over our courts and the judges. He’ll be assisting with the jail and with the transporting of the prisoners with the jail,” Mayfield said.

“Danny Barber has experience being a justice court judge, and plus, he was an investigator, too,” Mayfield said.

Gee said she worked 15 years with the ASCO in the Metro Narcotics office before starting work at the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s tax collector’s office.

Her last day with the parish was Tuesday.

“Maj. Gee will be over the office administration,” Mayfield said.

Lindsey, who has worked 18 years with the Natchez Police Department, said he worked for Mayfield before being promoted to lieutenant with the NPD.

“I worked under Chuck at the (Metro) narcotics unit for five years,” Lindsey said. “I learned a lot from him.”

Lindsey will be commander of the Metro Narcotics Unit.

While there are three new deputies joining Mayfield’s staff, he said no one currently working within his office has been replaced by the new additions.

“They’re not replacing anybody because we don’t know what changes we’re going to make,” Mayfield said.

“Everyone is on a probationary period right now. We haven’t had time to see what we’re going to do.

“I’m hoping we’ll start (interviewing) sometime during the end of (next) week,” Mayfield said.

Interviewing current deputies is just one of the things Mayfield has scheduled for his first week in office.

“My first priority is to take a look at our policy and procedures and go over the job descriptions of my command level people,” Mayfield said.

“I talked with Ronnie Harper, the district attorney, and we’re going to sit down next week and catch up on what he’s got going on,” Mayfield said. “Then I’ll sit down with investigators and see what’s on the front burner for them.”

Mayfield said he hopes to serve the community to the fullest of his abilities, and hopes to gain the support of the entire county.

“I want to tell you how proud I am to stand before you here today as the sheriff of Adams County,” Mayfield said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of our community.

“I will work very hard so that those who didn’t vote for me this time will be glad to vote for me next time,” Mayfield said.

Given only days to prepare for his first official day in office, Mayfield said changes would be made within his office, but over a period of a few months.

“My plan is to just come in and observe, and make our changes that we need to make,” Mayfield said. “It will be over a period of time and be nothing earth-shattering right now. We just have to get our feet on the ground.”

“We need to see what needs to be left alone and what needs to be changed — maybe not much, but some of it obviously will (need to be changed),” Mayfield said.

Circuit Clerk Eddie Walker said in his introduction he was impressed by the integrity exhibited by all the candidates during the election, and welcomed Mayfield as sheriff.

“Today is a new day for law enforcement in Adams County,” Walker said. “We as voters had a hard choice to make. And the voters spoke, and the choice was made — Charles R. “Chuck” Mayfield.

“Chuck edged out the competition in a hard-fought battle. I commend all these men in their campaigns,” Walker said.

Mayfield also said he thought every candidate ran a clean campaign, and much of his campaign’s success was due to his wife, Sylvia.

“My wife is my rock,” Mayfield said. “I want her to know how much I love her and appreciate her.”

Mayfield said he would be looking to his wife for support and guidance during the next two years, and hoped the county would stand behind him, as well.

Walker said while Mayfield has the daunting task of filling “the boots of the late Sheriff Ronny Brown,” he believed Mayfield would be more than capable of being an effective leader.

Walker reminded those present that Mayfield couldn’t change the county by himself.

“Chuck will need our support in his quest to make a difference in the fight against crime,” Walker said.