Adams County sheriff to lead Mississippi chapter of national law enforcement organization

Published 1:46 am Thursday, June 1, 2017

NATCHEZ — Leaders, community members and law enforcement officers gathered Wednesday to watch the Adams County sheriff take his oath of office for an organization he hopes opens doors for Natchez.

Sheriff Travis Patten was sworn in at the Safe Room as president of the Mississippi chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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“I prayed about accepting the position,” Patten said. “With all the tensions that are going on around us, I thought why not put Adams County in a position of leadership to be the voice of reason — not only in the state of Mississippi, but for the entire nation.”

Patten said the group was formed around in injustices in law enforcement in the 1970s, but is open to everyone. Patten said NOBLE does much good in communities, such as providing scholarships, building computer labs and reading to children.

Patten said the organization is not about race, but about what is right for everyone.

“What I want to push is unity,” Patten said. “Not only in this community, but throughout this state and nation.

“With a national spotlight like this, we can use it to keep (incidents of racial tension like those happening in New Orleans and Alabama) out of Mississippi.”

Interim Natchez Police Chief Shawn T. King said Patten’s new position would be good for the whole area.

“It will give us the ability to join law enforcement agencies, not just local, but statewide,” King said. “We believe in networking.”

King said Patten receiving the position is well deserved.

“I have worked with him for a number of years and he is a fair man,” King said. “We have a great asset in him.”

County Supervisor David Carter said it was an honor to have local people serving in roles such as Mississippi NOBLE president.

“I’m proud of the sheriff,” Carter said. “It’s just another example of the leadership talents of our sheriff. We are blessed to have him.”

Natchez Alderwoman Felicia Irving said Patten’s role with the organization illustrates the sheriff has made some positive changes.

“Everything is moving forward in a positive manner,” Irving said. “Congrats to all of the people being sworn in today.”

Administering the oath of office was Circuit Court Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders. Also being sworn in from Natchez were recording secretary Jacquelyn Posey and parliamentarian Chakatria Johnson.

Hinds County Sheriff Victor P. Mason came down from Jackson to support Patten, who was elected at the same time as Mason.

“I think he is really going to do good with the position,” Mason said. “He is a people person. You can ask him a question, and he will give you an answer. I think big things are going to come from it.”