Palmers Crossing group asks county supervisors to fund CIT training

Less than three weeks after a deputy-involved shooting, community leaders request the Forrest County Board of Supervisors to fund more CIT training.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -Less than three weeks after a deputy-involved shooting, community leaders request the Forrest County Board of Supervisors to fund more training on how to interact with mental health patients.

On July 14, four Forrest County deputies tried to serve a civil commitment warrant on 45-year-old Maurice McCarthy Hughes when Hughes hit a deputy in the head with a blunt object. One of the deputies fired his gun in response, killing Hughes.

Members of the Palmers Crossing Community Action team said more money is needed to prevent an incident like the deputy-involved shooting from happening again.

“We are asking that the Forrest County sheriff’s department, the Forrest County board of supervisors work with us to request and don’t stop requesting until we see monies that are needed to fund our local law enforcement, so they can be properly trained,” said Rev. Nathan Jordan, executive administrator of the Palmers Crossing team.

Jordan said this fatal shooting shines a light on the importance of having all law enforcement officers trained in situations dealing with those who have mental or physical disabilities.

“For our law enforcement to have that support that is needed for the training, for the service and the process, we must have monies in order to fund the program,” said Jordan. “And, there must be community policing both from the cities and as well as from the county levels. It’s important to pay direct attention and proper attention to those who are physically challenged or mentally disturbed.”

Forrest County Board of Supervisor Rod Wolluard said the board is working hard to fulfill this need for more funding.

“I hope going forward we can all work together to make this better for everybody,” said Wolluard. “I don’t want this to be a bad incident that doesn’t mean anything. I want it to make a difference for all the other citizens that are suffering from mental illness that we take this and take this seriously, and I hope we are the example throughout this state for what it should look like.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the four deputies present on the July 14 call did have Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT), and 17 out of 25 patrol and warrants employees received the same training.

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