Saturation patrol Friday nets wide range of arrests and tickets

Union County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Whiteside and canine officer Caesar found 100 Ecstasy pills and one pound of marijuana in one stop alone.
October 17th, 2020     Featured Government & Politics

A heavy presence of about 60 law enforcement officers throughout the county Friday night resulted in a series of felony arrests, DUI charges, people with outstanding charges being taken into custody and at least one high-speed chase with weapons involved.

Sheriff Jimmy Edwards organized the operation.

“We haven’t had a saturation patrol in some time and I thought it was overdue,” he said. The sheriff met with Police Chief Chris Robertson and representatives of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, who agreed.

Between 6 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. officers increased patrols and set up checkpoints at high-traffic locations around the area.

“I brought in extra jail staff and extra dispatchers,” Edwards said, to help handle the anticipated increase in booking.

Edwards had 14 deputies and said the police department used about the same number of officers. “MHP had 15 or 16 and MBN had 10,” he said, noting that each checkpoint needed four or five officers to operate.

“It was very successful and nobody got hurt,” Edwards said.

Edwards won’t have final numbers until Monday but he knew of at least four felony arrests made and 20 tickets for various offenses including DUI, felony DUI, felony fleeing and others.

“MHP got in a high-speed pursuit from Myrtle to Blue Springs,” he added and one or more weapons were apparently thrown from the vehicle during the chase.

“I was pleased and we were lucky to have such good participation from all the agencies,” he said. He was slightly surprised that the saturation effort was successful until after midnight without word spreading more. “In this day and age with social media and Facebook sometimes they can bust them out in 10 minutes,” he said.

He said he was not sure when the next saturation patrol would be but doesn’t want to wait as long this time.

“The purpose of this wasn’t just to write tickets but to help keep people safe,” he said. “I think most people in Union County are law and order folks.”

As a side note, the sheriff said that law enforcement officers in the Third Judicial District are working to form a coalition to promote legislators’ working with them more concerning legislation that holds criminals accountable with reasonable jail sentences and aids law enforcement.

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