HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Sheriff-elect Troy Peterson says he's anxious to start the job and has some innovative ideas for moving the department forward.
We caught up with Peterson on Tuesday morning at his father-in-law's farm on Highway 53. We found him behind the wheel of a front-end loader, helping load and store campaign signs. Peterson figures he'll be needing those signs again four years from now.
His focus is on the more immediate future and assuming his new role as sheriff.
"The one thing that everybody said is they wanted change because of law enforcement. They wanted better law enforcement in the county, and they wanted the different cities to inter mingle together, to be closer together. So, I think we're going to bring that to the table," said Peterson.
Peterson says one priority will be reviewing the department from top to bottom.
"The biggest thing we want to do is go in and evaluate the jobs that we have, the people's salaries and look at the jobs that people are doing now," Peterson explained.
As for the jail, the rumor that he wants to privatize the lockup is not true. There are no major changes planned for the jail.
"What I do see changing is the work center. I think the work center is going to be packed with state inmates. That way they can work throughout different places in the county. The different communities," said Peterson.
One thing on Peterson's "to do" list involves the Harrison County farm. He'd like to hire a horticulturist to oversee operations there and have inmates grow food crops. Plus, he'd like the farm better utilized as a public gathering spot.
He envisions building a barracks for Boy Scouts or church youth groups.
"These organizations can bring youth out there. They can bring kids out there through churches and spend the weekend out there and give them a taste of the country they've never had before," he said.
Peterson says another priority is to establish a good working relationship with the various police chiefs and other law enforcement agencies in the area.