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franklin county times

Rescinded: State board acts against county patrolmen

By Staff
CERTIFICATION Despite a decision Thursday by the state Board of Minimum Standards and Training to rescind their law enforcement certificates, county patrolmen will continue business as usual, according to Lauderdale County officials. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 12, 2001
The state Board of Minimum Standards and Training voted Thursday to rescind the law enforcement certificates of Lauderdale County patrolmen.
But the effect of the action remained unclear, with at least two county supervisors disagreeing on what the state board's action means.
Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors president Jimmie Smith said the standards board did not revoke the certificates, and even if they did, county patrolmen will continue with their regular road patrol duties. District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt said he isn't sure what took place at the board's meeting in Hattiesburg. He said he will await verification of its decision before responding.
Minimum standards and training board member Sheriff Billy McGee of Forrest County disagrees.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said problems exist with county patrolmen who carry weapons but no law enforcement certificates.
The vote was taken by the Board of Minimum Standards after Sollie requested a review of the county patrolmen's certificates. Sollie said that under state law, they did not meet the definition of law enforcement officers and that they do not write citations as they are authorized to do.
McGee said the county patrolmen have the right to appeal the decision through the Lauderdale County Chancery Court.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.