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Yazoo City names new interim police chief after old one resigns

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s been a rocky year for the Yazoo City Police Department as far as leadership, but a new law enforcement veteran has been appointed to lead the department and he is hoping to change that.

His goal is to sweep drugs and crime off the streets and bring more stability to the department. 

“Until people can see all law enforcement can work together, there will always be problems,” said Jospeh Head.

Unity - that’s the message Head wants to get across to the team at the Yazoo City Police Department. He says boosting morale inside the department is an important step in helping combat crime on the streets.

“It feels great to have someone who is willing to work with us. I would like to change. I would like to see someone stick with us,” said a Yazoo City police officer. ”We want to work as a unit, and we want to be as one.”

Chief Jay Winstead quit back in March. He took over as the new top cop for the city when former Police Chief Ron Sampson was voted out last year. 

Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff then agreed to accept the temporary post.

Now the nearly 30-year law enforcement veteran, Joseph Head, is taking over. He also serves as the deputy police chief for Yazoo County.

”Policing is policing and I have a passion for policing, and I have a passion for people. I thank God for humbling me to allow me to be who I am and where I am today,” he said.

His top priority is to make sure residents and visitors feel safe in the city, and he says they should be able to depend on the police department to answer their call and treat them fairly. 

“We have to show them that we stand for what is right and to bring safety to the community, and it doesn’t matter how old or young you are,” he explained.

Earlier this year, Yazoo City experienced a violent crime wave including seven people injured in a nightclub shooting, the shooting death of a 13-year-old, and the death of a 64-year-old man. Head says that’s disturbing.

That’s why he wants to work with city leaders to increase manpower and target crime hot spots.

”We have to constantly patrol, patrol, patrol those areas. The key thing to patrolling and taking care of the situation is being visible. Visibility means a whole lot. We have to constantly be visible in the places we call hot spots to make sure we calm those situations down.”

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