City officials mull litter control officer position

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is considering the hire of a litter control officer, which officials say would make enforcing site codes more efficient.

Ward 2 Alderman Ricky Gray suggested at the Natchez Board of Aldermen’s last meeting that the city hire a sworn officer for the Natchez Police Department specifically assigned to litter control and code enforcement. Gray said at the meeting that Chief Danny White recommended the city hire the officer.

Gray pointed out that having a sworn litter control officer would eliminate the need for a police officer riding along with a city code enforcement officer. The code enforcement officer is not a sworn officer and cannot issue citations or deliver summons without a police officer present.

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Mayor Butch Brown said the sworn officer would further eliminate the need for a code enforcement officer, who currently requires the accompaniment of a police officer to deliver summons or issue citations for city code violations.

Eliminating that position, Brown said, would also save the city money.

“We would be merging those two positions into one and saving us a whole position and a code enforcement officer’s salary,” he said.

The salary of the city’s current code enforcement officer, Willie B. Jones, is approximately $26,000.

Jones was suspended without pay in late May after being charged with conspiracy and insurance fraud.

Brown said he could not comment on the case or Jones’ employment future with the city because of the pending trial.

Brown did say that he believes a sworn code enforcement officer would make enforcement simpler and more efficient.

“He can write a citation on the spot, rather than having to get the code enforcement officer to tell (a police officer) what the violation is, so they can write a ticket,” he said, “It would be just like a speeding ticket.”

The officer, Brown said, could also be available for other duties aside from code enforcement.

Natchez Police Department Danny White said the department previously had a litter control officer that patrolled for violations.