A tremendous job well done to Patten and Daughtry

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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We were reminded this weekend how proud we should be and how thankful we are for our law officers here and their leaders.

It’s a scary time in which we live. We hear about mass shootings and violent protests and acts of hate people commit against each other every day. Thank God that’s not something that has happened in our community for a very, very long time.

When a community learns that an armed gun club and members of what are considered extremist groups are coming to your city by the thousands to march with their weapons in your city streets, it understandably creates concerns among all citizens.

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From the very moment Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten and Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry learned of the planned Devil’s Punchbowl commemoration and Gathering of the Great Armies march, they began working together to keep Natchez and Adams County safe. For approximately two months, the two have worked to anticipate every possible scenario that could occur from such an event, and in an organized and professional manner, made plans for it.

Perhaps the most important thing the two did was open communication immediately with the organizers of the event and listened to them, treated them with respect and made the city and county’s expectations very clear while doing so.

Patten and Daughtry recognized that as Americans these gun club members have the right to free speech and protest. Further, Mississippi laws permit open carry of firearms. Theirs was the daunting task to keep citizens safe while allowing the protesters to exercise their constitutional and legal rights.

At the same time, Nick Bezzel of the gun club said his group was law-abiding citizens, and that proved to be the case.

We are pleased the number of protesters who came to Natchez was far, far fewer than the group anticipated. More than ever, Natchez is a community of unity. We have embraced our diversity and are actively working toward inclusivity in every aspect of our community. Thank God nothing happened this weekend, instigated by out of towners, to drive a wedge between us.

While they may think differently on some issues, one thing is certain: When it comes to the safety of citizens in Natchez and Adams County, Patten and Daughtry are in lock step. Each demonstrates daily that they are professionals and leaders in every sense of the word.

On behalf of grateful residents, job well done, Sheriff Patten and Chief Daughtry and deputies and officers. We are thankful for all of you.