- Associated Press - Saturday, November 11, 2017

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Warren County Sheriff’s Office’s ability to patrol the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers got a little bit of help with the delivery of a 33-foot patrol boat donated by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

“This will be the first all-weather patrol boat the Warren County Sheriff’s Office has ever had,” Sheriff Martin Pace said. “It will allow us to provide law enforcement as well as search and rescue capabilities on some 40 miles of the Mississippi River and 30 miles of the Yazoo River that we’re responsible for.”

The Vicksburg Post reports the boat has a cabin and can carry up to 10 people. It also has radar, GPS and the state’s statewide radio system.

“So the sheriff and his men will be able to see what’s in front of them, underneath them and behind them,” Keith Davis, chief of marine patrol for DMR, said.

“It will provide a great opportunity to have a safer platform to work off of during events on the river,” Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said. “This is a great example of intergovernmental cooperation. We work hard to build relationships, not just between local agencies, but with state and federal agencies.”

Pace said the donation was made possible through the state’s Department of Homeland Security. He said the agencies were able to develop an agreement involving the boat, which no longer met DMR’s needs but met the needs of Warren County.

“This vessel had served its life with us and our needs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Mexico,” Davis said.

When he was contacted by Homeland Security, he said, “The idea quickly came to mind that these state assets could get more use through another state agency as well as through a sheriff’s department.”

Homeland Security Director Mark McKee said the donation “has been in the work for months.”

“There’s a lot of critical infrastructure here that needs to be protected. I want to thank the Department of Marine Resources for their generosity,” McKee said.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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