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Chief Armstrong updates the Board of Alderman
from Staff Reports - NEWS
April 11, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said the city has saved more than $35,000 the past three months by closing the Natchez jail and housing detainees in the Adams County Jail.

Natchez Police Department officers in March arrested 73 people and 34 were jailed, he said.

“Everything is going extremely well,” Armstrong told the Natchez Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

However, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has said he needs more money to house Natchez jail inmates. He wants the city to increase what it pays the county so the sheriff can hire another detention officer.

Natchez and Adams County officials worked out an agreement beginning in January for the city to pay Adams County $30 a day per inmate to hold NPD-arrested detainees. They previously were held in the Natchez city jail on D'Evereaux Drive.

The sheriff said this has been a difficult change for sheriff’s deputies. More inmates sent to the county jail adds to their workload and takes up more time, especially for deputies having to transport inmates from the State Street county jail to court and for medical care. County board President Calvin Butler has said city and county officials might need to renegotiate the agreement for the county to receive more money from the city.

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The Board of Aldermen agreed to Armstrong’s request to review whether to increase the penalties for discharging firearms in Natchez. He expressed concerns specifically about people who randomly shoot guns in the air with no intentional targets. He said the current city ordinance is too lax in giving the judge discretion on imposing penalties. The police chief said he wants mandatory fines and/or jail time imposed on guilty shooters.

Armstrong said he’s also awaiting guidance from state officials on what the city can do locally to strengthen background checks on gun buyers and regulate bumpstocks, which are used to make rifles rapid-fire machine guns.

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Armstrong said Natchez police officers have hammered down this past month on drivers with loud noise coming from their vehicles. He said 18 tickets were issued in March for excessive music and other sounds that exceed the limit in the city’s vehicle noise ordinance. He noted violators can be fined at least $100 if found guilty in municipal court.




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