ACSO deputies assist at Alcorn events

Published 12:04 am Thursday, January 3, 2019


NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies regularly travel to Alcorn State University’s campus in Lorman for athletic and other events to aid in crowd maintenance, officials said.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said the off-duty deputies’ wages are paid by Alcorn State per a contract with each of the off-duty officers who agree to work and are allowed to use ACSO vehicles for travel to Lorman with the county supervisors’ and Patten’s blessing.

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A reader raised questions regarding the agreement recently when they spotted Adams County deputies in Adams County Sheriff’s Office vehicles working traffic control at an Alcorn State University football game in Lorman.

Documentation of the agreement exists in Adams County records in the form of a letter from Alcorn State’s campus police chief Douglas Stewart requesting assistance with safety and security at football games during the 2018 football season.

Patten said the county sheriff’s office has allowed off-duty deputies to work in such a capacity since at least the 1980s and such assistance is common practice for law enforcement agencies, especially at university events that attract huge crowds.

“When you have a stadium that large, you can’t handle it yourself, not when you have 20,000 to 40,000 people increasing the population count,” Patten said.

Patten said he allows off-duty deputies to volunteer for the extra pay provided by the university.

“I allow them to go anytime they want,” Patten said, adding that attending Alcorn events is no different than the assistance the department provides at any other school or event.

“There’s not a school in the area that we don’t support — public, private, college or home schools. And we don’t drop the ball on them or anywhere.”