Monroe sheriff hopes to make county ‘a better place to live’

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN — A 24-year tenure as justice court judge laid the foundation of Cecil Cantrell’s aspiration to become sheriff and now that he’s in office, that aspiration has escalated to being one of Monroe County’s best.

“We’re going to rebuild the confidence, trust and belief this county used to have. We’re going to build relationships with everyone who will let us. We’re going to be the kind of law enforcement that people can call common sense law enforcement,” Cantrell said.

Under the previous administration, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department employed 68 people and although there have been personnel changes, the number remains the same.

“We’ve got several new deputies, but I surround myself with officers with a lot of experience,” Cantrell said.

Curtis Knight will serve as chief deputy; Brandon Davis and John Michael Lay will serve as investigators; and Rodney Starling and Timmy Oswald will both be assistant detectives.

Some programs such as the inmate labor program, the inmate garden behind the jail and the county trash pickup will continue, but several new programs will soon be implemented as well.

The auxiliary units will be used more than ever to back up the department and provide presence at events such as ball games throughout the county. Officers will also have more of a presence for circuit and chancery court security.

There will also be a funeral squad to escort people who’ve lost loved ones to the funeral home, church and graveside services, in addition to making follow-up calls during their time of need.

The MCSO is a member of the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit and has plans to do more work with the agency to address the county’s drug issue.

“We’ve already got the D.A.R.E. program in place in our county schools, but at some point we want to expand that to schools in Aberdeen and Amory. We’re also looking for the people of the county to keep us informed about anything suspicious with a tips hotline.

“We’re going to be on the front line for making Monroe County a better place to live. We’re always going to have an open door policy at the department where everyone is welcome to come and talk. We’re always looking for new friends,” Cantrell said.

Anyone with any tips or concerns can reach Cantrell at 315-2454.