Pascagoula Police to start its own narcotics task force

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula will soon have its own narcotics task force unit. The Pascagoula City Council passed a resolution Tuesday allowing its police department to start a new force. This action follows a Mississippi Bureau of Investigation probe into a July shooting at the Jackson County Drug Task force office involving two agents.

The decision from the Pascagoula City Council was unanimous.

"This is our council's first responsibility to take care of our streets first," Councilman Frank Corder said.

"You have a great police department. I support you 100 percent," Councilman Robert Stallworth said.

Chief Kenny Johnson said the positive feedback was just what he needed before going full force with his new team, which is now four members strong.

"The benefits are just more enforcement, a higher level of enforcement directed in a particular area," Johnson said.  "We did a little operation last night that resulted in felony arrests, seizure of money, seizure of crack cocaine."

Just last week, Sheriff Mike Byrd announced that Moss Point, Pascagoula, and Gautier were dropping out of the force days after an independent investigation wrapped up into a gun being fired at the task force office.

"I have said since the beginning, this was the direction I was already planning to head. Since I already had my officer pulled out, it is more of a timing issue for me. I have not seen a report from MBI; I don't know the results of that report, so it is just a timing issue."

Johnson said Moss Point and Gautier are still strongly considering joining the new force to help fight the drug problem as one unit. Until then, Johnson said his goal is to make sure Pascagoula is drug free.

"What is going to happen after today is if you are dealing drugs in Pascagoula, you are probably going to see one of my narcotics agents at your door."

Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis also went before his city's Board of Aldermen Tuesday. Davis says the city has agreed to terminate its contract with Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County on the condition that Gautier and Pascagoula do the same. The results of the MBI investigation have been turned over to a grand jury.

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