Daughtry, NPD deserve praise for work protecting Natchez

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, July 9, 2022

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Natchez Police Department, and particularly Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry, deserve a huge amount of praise for good work that has not gone unnoticed.

Since Daughtry has taken the helm of the Natchez Police Department in December 2020, the City of Natchez was singled out of nearly 300 Mississippi municipalities for the Municipal Excellence Award in Public Safety in cities of more than 10,000 residents.

The award was presented during the Mississippi Municipal League Annual Conference in Biloxi last week.

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Remarks from officials at the conference said the work the Natchez Police Department has done to get more than 150 illegal weapons off city streets within a six-month period was a large part of the city receiving the public safety honors.

Getting those weapons off the street was the job of Daughtry’s VIPER Unit, which stands for Violent Immediate Police Emergency Response.

That unit is of Daughtry’s creation, and has had an impact on crime and criminals. He said the unit’s success comes from old school, proactive policing, meaning concentrating patrols in high crime areas and setting up checkpoints to watch for illegal drugs and weapons.

Crime Stoppers hotline is also active again in Natchez, thanks in large part to Daughtry’s work to get citizens to trust it to keep the information they share confidential. Last year, Natchez was honored Crime Stoppers Top Law Enforcement Agency Award and Daughtry received the Crime Stoppers Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also recently named president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of our Chief of Police is his hands-on approach to his work. Whether it is helping carry a patient on a stretcher into an awaiting helicopter, chasing down a motorist with lights and sirens who dangerously blew through traffic lights to give a ticket, or personally directing traffic in front of an accident, like he did in front of Parkway Baptist on Thursday, Daughtry is in the middle of police work here in Natchez. He is not someone to sit on the sidelines.

Joseph Daughtry sets a fine example for the officers he leads and for citizens of Natchez. We can be confident because he is on the job and he has our backs.

Thank you, Chief Daughtry, on behalf of a grateful city.