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Drivers who are stopped by a Mississippi Highway Patrol State Trooper are now required to answer more than “Do you know how fast you were going?”
An amendment that went into effect July 1, known as the uniform traffic ticket law, now requires a driver to tell troopers his or her phone number and mailing address.
“(Drivers) have to put an address on their driver’s license, and sometimes it doesn’t match with their mailing address,” Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Rusty Boyd said.
Since asking for personal information is new to Mississippi officers, and most drivers aren’t aware of the changes to the procedure, Boyd said the highway patrol wanted to ensure people they are following state orders.
“We’re not out there just asking for somebody’s phone number. It’s for court purposes. That’s why it’s on there and that’s what it will be used for.”
Boyd said many times drivers who do not have updated information on their licenses wind up paying for it in the end because they don’t receive court notifications.
“It is possible that a person could get their license suspended, and they not know it because (the court) couldn’t contact that person,” Boyd said.
“Now, they’ll be able to get in contact with someone if something changes in regards to their case.”
Boyd said if a driver has been pulled over since July and not been asked for their personal contact information, it’s because their officer didn’t have the new citation forms.
“What we’re doing is we’re phasing out the old citations we’re going to save money.
“Gradually, officers will start getting the new tickets and asking for that information.”
Some officers are already using the new forms.
Boyd said, to his knowledge, officers asking for the new information haven’t gotten negative responses when they asked for contact information because they are trying to inform the public when they stop them.
“So far, we haven’t had any issues. We’re trying to get out and explain on the road as we go along. Everyone will be told about it eventually.”
By Emily Ham
Some state troopers and family members gathered to remember the life of James Hillman Tingle.
“He didn’t get to serve but one month,” said Martha Neal, the sister of Tingle.
Tingle, a slain Mississippi State Trooper that didn’t live to receive his uniform.
“He and his buddy were checking driver’s licenses and a fellow run up and hit the patrol car and shoved another up into him and broke his legs and from that he took phenomena and few days he died,” Neal said.`
Tingle’s sister Martha Neal, her husband and sister-in-law say he won’t be forgotten and his deeds, along with other patrolmen around this state will not go unnoticed. Mrs.Neal says her brother was following in the footsteps of their father that once served as the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff. Tingle was 27 when he died in 1950. Mrs. Neal says she’s only missed one ceremony for the past three decades.
“Well everyday they lay their lives down for us and this is the least we can do for them; to let them know we miss them and love them and wish the best for the other patrolmen,” Neal said.
Public Affairs Officer, Sergeant Malachi Sanders says Tingle is one of three troopers honored from the Meridian district that covers nine counties. The other two men were from Smith County. Sgt. Sanders says these troopers paid the ultimate sacrifice and this ceremony was a small token of appreciation.
“To sacrifice your life for someone or a group of people is an honor and a good thing,” said Sgt. Malachi Sanders of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
“I think we should be all thankful that we have somebody watching and protecting us,” Neal said.
The Washington State Patrol and the Mississippi Highway Patrol have been named the best dressed law enforcement agencies in the U.S. by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD). This marks the first year the association has named co-winners of the annual Best Dressed Law Enforcement Agency award.
Last year, the State Patrol was the sole winner of the award.
“I am very proud of the men and women who wear the uniform of the Washington State Patrol,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste in a news release. “I have seen the uniform of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and am honored to be in their company.”
The award is based on photographs, history and explanation of each of the different
working uniforms worn by law enforcement agencies.
State Patrol uniforms include traditional blues with campaign hat and bowtie; light blue shirt and navy blue trousers of the communications officer; gray shirt and black trousers of the Commercial Vehicle Division; and bicycle uniform worn by Capitol Campus Security.
To learn more about the State Patrol’s uniforms, click here.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time….
An on-duty state trooper who stopped by Bank Plus on U.S. 90 for personal business intervened when he realized a man was robbing the bank.
The suspect, who handed over a note demanding money and implied he had a gun, was caught by surprise when the state trooper came up behind him, said Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Johnny Poulos.
The suspect later identified himself to police as Jason Jamel Barial of Hearth Avenue in Mobile, said Ocean Springs Detective Lt. John Flowers.
The state trooper entered the bank around 3:30 p.m. and walked in a hallway to speak to a secretary, Poulos said.
“He observed a man standing at the counter and noticed the teller trying to get his attention,” said Poulos.
“The trooper thought something wasn’t right.”
The trooper came up behind the man and restrained him.
Flowers said the charge is armed robbery.
“Even though he was prevented from leaving, he committed the act,” Flowers said.
Barial was held without bond at the Ocean Springs Municipal Jail pending an initial hearing.