A disturbance at the Union County jail Friday, Sept. 17, was brought under control without injury to inmates or law enforcement personnel. Officers of the New Albany Police Department (NAPD) and units of the New Albany Fire Department were called to the jail to help bring the situation under control.
Sheriff Jimmy Edwards told the Union County Board of Supervisors of the incident at its Monday morning, Sept. 20, meeting.
The sheriff said a county jail employee was dismissed Thursday, Sept. 16. Jail inmates became agitated and defiant on Friday.
A substantial number of county deputies and NAPD officers entered the jail Friday and the inmates “backed down” without the situation getting further out of control.
Sheriff Edwards told NEMiss.News he also called the fire department to the scene so its powerful exhaust fans could be used to clear pepper spray from the area if needed, but it was not necessary to use pepper spray.
The jail was put on lockdown during the weekend.
Edwards said the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) was called and asked to remove eight inmates that had been housed at the Union County Jail. The sheriff said MDOC picked up the inmates Saturday morning and transported them back to the state prison at Parchman.
The sheriff asked the county board to approve putting retired Chief Deputy Sheriff Johnny Bell on the sheriff’s office payroll as a part-time jail administrator.
In an unrelated matter, Sheriff Edwards told the board he had just been made aware the possible availability of a $47,000 grant from the Mississippi State of Health for COVID mitigation and to be used for protection against communicable diseases.
In other business Monday, the Union County Board of Supervisors:
- Approved transferring a residual balance of $7,886.40 from the Martintown Industrial Fund to the county general fund, closing out that account.
- Discussed a resolution for creating an Emergency Medical Service District.
- Approved school bus “turnarounds” requested by the county school district. Generally, a school bus turnaround involves getting permission from a private property owner for a county school bus to turn around in a private driveway. The county then assumes limited responsibility for maintaining the portion of the driveway used for the bus turnaround.
- Approved routine fees for the county chancery clerk, the circuit clerk and the medical examiner.
The next regular meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be at 10 a.m., Monday Oct. 4.