February 22, 2023

Hinds County SO becomes 7th sheriff’s department to be accredited in the state

Therese Apel

On Wednesday morning, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones stood in front of the media to talk about a promise he’s making to his county.

Not like a campaign promise, but one that he’s been working on since he got in office. A promise that his department is working to acheive the highest standards of conduct, procedure and decorum in order to better serve and protect the people of Hinds County.

On Wednesday, Hinds County became the seventh Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi to become state accredited. Jones said his first goal when he got into office was to start the accreditation process.

“Last summer, I decided to get the sheriff’s office accredited for the first time in history,” he said, adding that the department was founded in 1929. “I consider this to be a major achievement.”

Jones was no newcomer to the accreditation process, which involves completing 140 mandatory standards set by the state. He was instrumental in getting the Jackson Police Department accredited under then-Police Chief Lee Vance.

“I’m proud of the work that the men and women of the sheriff’s office have contributed,” he said.

Bob Morgan, of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, said that of the 82 counties in Mississippi, only seven are accredited.

“This shows the citizens of Hinds County that they’re willing to demonstrate that they’re following best practices and policies,” Morgan said. “He has policies and has trained his officers on them and is making sure his officers follow them.”

The department is then independently reviewed by the accreditation commission.

The accreditation will also help the sheriff’s department receive grant funds, and it will help with insurance costs. It dictates things such as internal affairs and use of force policies and procedures, along with other things.

“It’s a strictly voluntary thing that any law enforcement agency can do,” Morgan said. “We have 250 police departments in te state, and only 28 are accredited. It means the chief executive officer of the department wants the public to know that they’re meeting these standards.”

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