AG's Report Calls For Change In Moss Point Police Department

Published: Jun. 28, 2002 at 2:15 PM CDT
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Moss Point Mayor Frank Lynn met with the Attorney General's office for about an hour Wednesday. The topic was a report released by Mike Moore's office calling the city police department "inappropriate and unprofessional."

The Attorney General's investigation looked into eight different cases where police "might" have violated citizens civil rights, but the death of Marcus Malone was not part of the probe. The report does call on the Moss Point police department to focus on training and accountability.

Ward Six Alderman John Welch was the only elected official in Moss Point willing to do any interview on camera with WLOX News about the Attorney General's report. He says he agrees with the findings.

"I think those are fair assessments, I think we need to be more professional and certainly we need to know what our standard operating procedures are and we need to follow them," said Welch.

He also says bringing in a new police chief will help achieve some of the recommendations in the report. Current police Chief Butch Gager turned in his resignation two weeks ago.

"I think the new chief will have to give leadership. He is going to have to know how to work with all kind of people, and just be a general leader," said Welch.

The six page report issued Wednesday night quickly became the talk of the town among residents. Many say they believe the recommendations will go a long way to improve the police department.

"Anything is a help, you know, especially in the future it will be better. Right now I guess they're doing the best job they can at the time," said Anthony Jackson.

"I know a lot of the controversy is about race, but I don't think it's a racial thing. I think it's leadership and each officers should be accountable for their own actions," said Amy Rowell.

City leaders say they're in the process of making changes to the police department and will use the Attorney General's report as a guide.