Sheriff: Positive changes happening in county

Published 9:59 pm Monday, December 10, 2018


NATCHEZ — Many positive changes have occurred in the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in recent years, the sheriff told members of the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Council on Monday.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten was the guest speaker at the council recently created by Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell.

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Patten said training, pay raises and community involvement have been key issues that turned the office around over the past four years.

New technology in the office, Patten said, has aided the county greatly in crime solving. Patten said many downtown merchants are getting on board with installing security cameras, and he passed around photos showing the clarity provided in still frames from some of the cameras.

One of the images was defined enough to show smoke coming from a cigarette and another clearly showed the butt of a gun sticking from a side pocket.

Patten said the cameras come at a starting price of $150, but said a better $385 camera also is an option. Patten said he would like to see 200 to 300 cameras throughout the city eventually.

Patten also said the state should look into legislation to make it a federal offense to tamper with the cameras, as he said is the law in Louisiana.

“We’ve noticed our call volume going down in areas where we installed the cameras,” Patten said.

Patten commended Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong for doing a good job. He said a large number of the sheriff’s office’s calls take place in the city limits and noted that of 175 drug calls in 2016, 152 of them were in the city of Natchez.

Community involvement is growing as well, Patten said, and added that the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Academy is teaching citizens to be trained in what to look for when they see suspicious activity.