Narcotics officers now working both sides of river

Published 12:12 am Friday, February 18, 2011

NATCHEZ — A quick scoot across the Mississippi River bridge will no longer provide drug dealers and users with a jurisdictional safe haven.

Sheriffs from Adams County and Concordia Parish swore in teams of narcotics officers from the opposite sides of the river Thursday in an effort to break down barriers when it comes to fighting crime.

After Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell swore in five Natchez-Adams Metro Narcotics Unit officers, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield swore in swore in four Concordia Parish Narcotics Task Force officers.

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Maxwell and Mayfield then swore in each other.

Both sheriffs addressed the narcotics officers at the Adams County Board of Supervisors building after they were officially given the green light to operate on both sides of the river.

Maxwell said the 1-percent of the Miss-Lou population who commit crimes often take their activities across multiple parish and county lines. Investigations can run more efficiently when officers can operate on both sides of the river, he said.

The cross swearing-in also closes a jurisdictional loophole for criminals who see the state line as a “crutch” to help them elude the law, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he feels fortunate that the existing cooperation with both narcotics units will continue and improve.

“This is making what’s already happening more formal,” Maxwell said.

Mayfield said the official swearing-in of officers on both sides of the river reiterates the importance of sharing resources and information.

“I expect (Natchez-Adams County) guys to notify you if we do a take-down,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said when drug arrests are made, narcotics officers from both areas can often benefit by retrieving information from the suspect about other investigations.

Mayfield said Concordia Parish has also been generous in lending its drug dog to the metro unit.

Maxwell said making both narcotics teams official in the county and parish is also important for practical reasons.

“When working on a case, it moves so fast, and you can’t always (have time to) ask permission, or make calls,” Maxwell said.

“You do your job, and you do it well.”

Mayfield said criminals operate beyond jurisdictional lines, so officers should too.

Mayfield said Concordia narcotics officers can attend any type of training to which the Natchez-Adams has, and vice versa.

Natchez-Adams officers sworn in by Maxwell were David Lindsey, Tom Borum, Ronnie Coleman, Greg Jackson and Weston Watts.

Concordia Parish officers sworn in by Mayfield were Denis Mulvihill, Chris Groh, Jamie Lipscomb and Larry Lawrence.

The officers will soon have identification badges for both the parish and county.