TUPELO – To protect, serve and pass out ice-cold water. That was the Tupelo Police Department’s list of duties Friday.
During a week of heat advisories, Tupelo police officers modified their job descriptions to include water patrols.
Patrolmen cruised through neighborhoods, construction sites and other places where people had to be outside and handed out bottles of cold water. Sgt. Sam Bell and Officer Daniel Tucker were two of the officers who helped to pass out water around town.
“It is hot out there and when we are out patrolling we see all these people who have to be out in the heat working or doing other things,” said Bell. “So the department felt it was a good idea to provide those individuals with cold water. This is as hot as I’ve ever felt it. And I tell you one thing, we didn’t have anyone to turn the water down.”
Officers also visited places frequented by homeless people to give them water. Bell said those people were especially happy to get the water.
Chief Tony Carleton gave credit for the water patrol idea to Maj. Anthony Hill.
“He came to me and said he felt this would be a good thing to do for those who have to be in this heat,” said Carleton. “I think it’s a great way for our officers to get out and meet the people who live and work in our city. It sends a message that the police are here to help people no matter what the situation is.”
The department bought some of the water and some was donated. If temperatures reach in the 100s this week, Carleton said police may activate water patrol again.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danza Johnson / NEMS Daily Journal