Law enforcement officers adjust to new state regulations

WINSTON COUNTY,Miss. (WCBI)- Earlier this week, Governor Tate Reeves expanded capacity for restaurants and other businesses. He says he hopes to increase attendance for outdoor events in the near future.

And as the regulations change, law enforcement officers have to make sure those rules are enforced.

Small crowds, large crowds, curfew, and masks.

These are just a few of the details officers must stay mindful of on a weekly basis.

But keeping every detail regulated can be a challenge.

“Those things are very difficult to control,” said Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh.

Pugh has given his guys clear instructions.

“What I’ve told my deputies is to be polite. Don’t try to be demanding of people with things. Try to discuss it with them. It’s just a fluid situation. We were discussing that earlier, it’s changing everyday. The governor’s mandate is changes weekly or bi-weekly because the situation is changing so what he is having to do is changing,” said Pugh.

As crowd size guidelines change, Pugh says he’s adjusting schedules. He has only eight deputies to dispatch, so they’re relying on a few helping hands.

” The schedules are constantly changing fluctuating to help to deal with things. We had deputies, part-time deputies on specials assignments this week trying to deal with issues that were coming up,” said Pugh.

In some areas, like Oktibbeha County, Sheriff Steve Gladney says it’s a bit hectic to keep an crowd size to a minimum.

” Everybody wants to get back to some kind of normalcy and hey we do too. The Govenor comes out and on Monday and he’ll give the guidelines for that week and we have to deal with them to make people safe and doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Gladney.

At least two deputies are dispatched during a call, leaving fewer people for patrol.

” A-lot of times we’ll get calls to a large group or large party somewhere and we don’t know anything about it till we get there,” said Gladney.

In the meantime, Gladney and Pugh will continue to use their resources to keep citizens safe.

“We can’t just focus on one thing, we got the whole county to focus on,” said Gladney.

“One thing we like to stress to people is to use your own best judgement,” said Pugh.

Governor Tate Reeves will continue to release new updates weekly.

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