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Three married couples employed at Vicksburg Police Department

Robert and Tammy Jackson, both employees of the Vicksburg Police Department, have been linked by the law for seven years. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[02/14/01] Robert and Tammy Jackson will be spending Valentine’s Day the way they do every other workday in the uniform of the Vicksburg Police Department.

Robert Jackson, with the police department for 10 years, is a patrol sergeant. Tammy, his wife for more than seven years, is a communications clerk.

“It’s nice because if you have problems at work you have someone you can talk to who understands what you are talking about and going through,” Sgt. Jackson said.

Tammy Jackson said she met her future husband nine years ago when she was employed as 911 dispatcher.

“It’s funny because for the first year of our relationship, she was telling me what to do at work and at home,” Sgt. Jackson said.

The couple, who have been married for seven and a half years, said one of the secrets to their matrimonial success is never ending a day angry.

“We have to separate work and home,” she said. “We make an effort not to take our work home with us.”

Another couple on the police force, Jann and Davey Barnette have worked together for four years of their 12-year marriage.

“To me it is kind of romantic,” Jann Barnette said.

She has worked in court services for four years, and Lt. Barnette is a 16-year veteran.

“Being married to a cop gives me a real sense of safety and security at home and at work, and that is important to me,” she said.

The Jacksons, in addition to working together, both attend night classes at Hinds Community College.

“We are really busy between work and school, so we don’t have a lot of time for extra stuff,” Tammy Jackson said.

The couple agrees that the hardest part of the job is when schedules require them to work opposite shifts.

“For five years we worked separate shifts and we would go days without seeing each other,” Tammy Jackson said. “We were like ships passing in the night.”

It has been in only the past few months that they have both been assigned to the day shift, she said.

Both wives acknowledge that the danger involved in their husbands’ work is a nagging fear that never goes away.

“It is very stressful knowing that he could get hurt,” Tammy Jackson said.

The Barnettes and the Jacksons aren’t the only crime-fighting couples at the police department. Juvenile Officer Jamee Carter and Sgt. Jon Carter are also married.

“As the wife of a policeman you have to be patient and remember that police officers see a lot of stuff that other people don’t,” Tammy Jackson said.