Columbus PD rebrands department-wide

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Not only is the newly reinforced Columbus SWAT team well trained, but now they’re well equipped to handle any high-risk threat that may impact the city of Columbus.

The team is deployed in some of the most high-risk cases, from handling high-risk search and arrest warrants like those issued for aggravated assault or murder to incidents involving barricaded suspects, hostage rescues, or active shooters.

They also handle crowd control and other scenarios demanding resources beyond the scope of the patrol division.

Columbus Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said financial constraints have been a deterrent. So, his department needed to get creative to find adequate funding for equipment and uniforms.

“The overall process was very challenging because we’re dealing with a fixed budget. We were able to get new equipment for our SWAT team by using a Homeland Security Grant,” said Daughtry.

While expired body armor may provide some level of protection, it’s not as strong, dependable, and effective as body armor that hasn’t expired.

“The equipment we had prior to this was probably outdated around 10 to 15 years, our guys are a lot safer,” said Daughtry.

Even funding for new uniforms was taken care of by a generous donor in the Friendly City.

“We had a local business owner purchase all of the SWAT team uniforms. And we’re very grateful for that donation,” said Daughtry.

Daughtry said new uniforms are also on the way for his patrol officers.

“Some of the council members have run into officers who in the past may have had two pairs of pants. We had an officer who just had one shirt. The board and the mayor were unanimous in getting the officers a new look. We’re trying to change the image of the police department. You know we talk about our new motto: accountability and professionalism. Well if we’re gonna be accountable, we also have to look professional. So I’m thankful for the mayor and council for allowing us the opportunity and allowing us the funding that we need,” said Daughtry.

Daughtry said the rebranding of the Columbus Police Department isn’t just about uniforms and gear.

“This just goes to show you our commitment to making sure Columbus is a safer place. A lot of people say is all of this is necessary. When the citizens need help they call the police. When the police need help, they call SWAT,” said Daughtry.

The Columbus SWAT team consists of 10 members and has three more openings available on the squad.

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