Year in review: Columbus Police Chief Joseph Daughtry

Joseph Daughtry became Columbus Police Chief a year ago

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – “We’re just under a different captain. The ship is being driven a different way,” said Daughtry.

This month marks one year since Joseph Daughtry was sworn in as chief of the Columbus Police Department.

The first challenge Daughtry faced was a staff shortage in a department that once employed almost 100 officers.

Before Daughtry’s administration, that number had decreased to 27.

“I had some officers that used to work here that didn’t want to buy in. So, some of them left voluntarily and moved on to bigger and better things, and some just left,” said Daughtry.

Now, the department has almost 50 officers.

Daughtry said any administration is going to have its challenges and successes.

“When that chief had it, they did what they thought was right at that time. And they used the resources that they had, to do what they felt was the right thing to do,” said Daughtry.

911 calls have decreased by 10%, traffic tickets have increased by 50% and arrests have gone down by 17%.

Daughtry said the strategy was simple: “Good policing.”

Community involvement was another piece to solving the puzzle of crime in the Friendly City.

“They’re starting to trust us. And to me, that is one of the greatest accomplishments of being the chief of the city of Columbus that the community is buying in. Now, we still have some naysayers. We still have some folks who want us to do things the way that they think that we should do them. But we’re not. We’re going to be fair. We’re going to be consistent. We’re going to stand on…as they say, stand on it. We’re standing on accountability and professionalism,” said Daughtry.

Other big changes are coming to the department in 2024 like new equipment, uniforms, and policing motto.

We’ll keep you updated on these changes and more within the department.

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