Walk in My Shoes: Hattiesburg Police

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - I spent the day with a Hattiesburg police officer Wednesday.

Every morning around 5 a.m., the officers gear up for the day.

They discuss crimes that have occurred and what to be on the lookout for.

"Minor information like that is the key to solving a lot of these crimes," said Capt. Tim Jackson of with the Patrol Division.

After the morning briefing the officers hit the road. Captain Jackson likes to starts off his mornings checking email, completing paper work, and making phone calls with a quick run to his office.

Being behind a desk is a far cry from his true office. Jackson spends most of his time patrolling the streets and keeping up with his officers.

Jackson is a father of five and has been with the Hattiesburg Police Department for 16 years.

"It's a challenge," he said. "Of course my wife is used to it now, but I'm sure they worry everyday when I go out. I've got a son that's talking about getting into the police department."

Early in my day with Jackson, he stopped a man for riding a scooter without a helmet. The man had previous fines, but was working to pay them off.

"I just wrote him a courtesy citation, a written warning. He's working on some fines now, and I didn't see the point of stacking more fines on the guy," said Jackson.

Soon, we arrived on the scene of a store burglary. Two officers were already there. The store owners told police someone broke in and stole some cash. The store has been broken into multiple times before.

"We try to gather any type of DNA evidence: footprints, fingerprints, or witnesses in the area, but a lot of times it boils down to whoever committed that burglary will do it again somewhere else or the same place."

Minutes later, two vehicles were involved in a wreck close to the store. Two women inside the car had minor injuries. Jackson checked on them until paramedics arrived.

"She was just complaining about some shoulder and neck pain," said Jackson.

Later, Jackson headed to a department meeting we couldn't attend. We met him later at Wesley Medical Center. The hospital was preparing for an emergency drill.  Jackson along with other emergency officials put in input on how the drill should go.

After the meeting it was back to the streets. "A lot of people think that the police are heartless and don't care; it's I think completely the opposite would be true."

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