County patrolmen face crucial vote
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 7, 2001
The state Board of Minimum Standards and Training will vote Thursday on whether to revoke the professional law enforcement certificates of Lauderdale County's five county patrolmen.
These county employees are appointed by the supervisors, one for each district.
The action was scheduled after a November meeting in which Minimum Standards board members listened to reports about county patrolmen's certificates and job descriptions.
That hearing was scheduled after a series of meetings in which Sheriff Billy Sollie criticized the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors for paying patrolmen more than deputies.
Sollie argued that county patrolmen do not meet the definition of "law enforcement officer" since they do not have the authority to make an arrest. Sollie also criticized patrolmen for not enforcing traffic laws in their districts.
County Patrolman Rickey Harris said he is optimistic the Board of Minimum Standards and Training will allow patrolmen to keep their certifications.
Harris said he feels caught in the middle of a fight.
County Patrolman Ronald Brooks agrees.
County patrolmen Hubert Rivers and Harold Null said if their law enforcement certificates are revoked, they may still keep their jobs.
Rivers said he wrote as many as six traffic citations last year, "but they were never brought to court."
Null said county patrolmen should be deputized.
County Patrolman Glen Knight could not be reached for comment.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at email@example.com.
District 1: Hubert Rivers
District 2: Ronald Brooks
District 3: Harold Null
District 4: Rickey Harris
District 5: Glen Knight.