The Itawamba County sheriff’s department has gone online.
Sheriff Chris Dickinson recently announced that his office has launched an official Web site at www. itawambaso.com. Contained on the Web site are various links to information about the sheriff’s department, including pictures of deputies, details about the county jail and its employees, youth court contact information and Crimestoppers. According to Dickinson, the goal was to create a one-stop location for pertinent information about the county’s law enforcement.
“I thought it was important to improve communications between the department and our citizens,” Dickinson said. “I think it’s important that the people of Itawamba County know who we are, who works for them. The better the communication, the more effective we will be in the community.”
The site’s home page greets visitors with an introductory statement from the sheriff himself, in which he explains the department’s goals. On either side of this statement are various links leading deeper into the site, from photo galleries to phone numbers.
Dickinson said posting pictures of county deputies was his No. 1 priority with the website. He asserted the more easily recognizable the deputies are, the easier doing their jobs will be.
“I wanted the citizens to meet our deputies face-to-face, so that we’re not just a bunch of heads in cars,” Dickinson said with a chuckle. Community recognition is an important tool in law enforcement. But, in a county like ours, our deputies can’t walk a beat. In rural settings you typically just see a black and white car, not the faces in the car. But, you need to be able to recognize these officers when they come to help.”
Dickinson continued to stress his belief in law enforcement as a community effort. He said the website will assuredly promote greater community involvement.
“I want to build a bridge between law enforcement on the communities of our county,” the sheriff said. “We’re only as good as the people we serve and we want to keep up the relationship we have with our communities. People are willing to help us … and call us to report suspicious activity. Every tip we get is followed up on. That’s one of the reasons we’ve been so successful.”
As for the future of the site, Dickinson would like to get other county emergency agencies, like local fire departments, involved. Additionally, he plans to update the site with information about narcotic manufacture so that people will be able to spot any warning signs and incorporate a dedicated tip line.
“Our No. 1 issue is the eradication of drugs in our county, he said. “Ninety to 95 percent of our issues are related to drugs. If we can wipe that out, our other crimes will go down.”
He restated that the department’s website will help bring the number down by allowing residents to see the sheriff’s department at work, giving them more confidence.
“It’s important for people to see our tax dollars at work, and that we’re using their money wisely,” Dickinson said. “You can see what we’re doing.That makes them more willing to help us.”
Adam Armour can be reached at 862-3141, by e-mailing adam.armour@i tawamba360.com or by visiting his blog at itawamba360.com.
Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times