Mayor uses police officers for travel

Published 12:57 am Sunday, March 26, 2017


NATCHEZ — Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell has used city police officers to transport him to out-of-town meetings on three occasions.

Grennell said he recently had meetings three days in a row in Jackson and meetings in Natchez on those same days.

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“They were back-to-back-to back,” he said. “I needed some help getting up there and getting back. I didn’t want to be exhausted from driving.”

Additionally, Grennell said being transported by police officers to the meetings allowed him to work during what would otherwise be travel time.

“My phone is constantly ringing, and I’m constantly getting texts and emails,” he said. “I don’t multitask well, and I have to be focused on what I’m doing, and I can’t do that and drive.”

The officers who transported Grennell were off-duty and paid for the work.

Grennell said he has asked his staff to make arrangements for the officers’ pay for the trips to come out of the mayor’s office budget.

Police Chief Daniel White said the police department was not burdened by the mayor’s requests for transportation because he utilizes officers who are off-duty.

White could not recall any other officials in the current or past administrations who have used police officers to transport them.

Grennell said he generally uses his own vehicle for city business, rather than requesting the city buy a vehicle for the mayor’s office as past mayors have done. Grennell is reimbursed for gas for city travel.

Grennell said he believes that ensuring his own well -being on heavy travel days is in the best interest of the city.

“I have to look out for Darryl if I’m going to look out for the city,” he said. “But if it becomes an issue, I’ll drive myself.”