E-911 director Tate leaving

Published 9:51 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vicksburg-Warren County E-911 director Chuck Tate is leaving his position and retiring — again.

Deputy director Shane Garrard has been named interim director.

District 1 Supervisor John Arnold, E-911 Commission chairman, said the commission will advertise for the position.

He said county policy requires a county department vacancy must be advertised in house for two weeks before the commission decides whether to advertise elsewhere. The decision will be made when the commission meets Aug. 24.

“I think we will probably go outside, just so we will know what’s out there,” he said. “We feel like Shane’s done a good job; he’s interim and he really does a good job, but we just want to make sure that we get the best qualified person.”

Tate, a longtime Culkin volunteer firefighter and a past chief of the department, was named interim director in 2014 after the E-911 commission fired former director Jason Tatum.

“I was retired for eight years when they asked me to take over Vicksburg-Warren 911. I was brought in for what was supposed to be two to three months,” Tate said Wednesday.

“I stayed to get us through a number of projects at the commission’s request, and we finally got through with those. In the meantime, I’ve been training my replacement and he’s trained and he’s pretty much running the organization, so I’m ready to go back into retirement. It’s time for me to go back to doing what I want to do.” Garrard began as a dispatcher for Vicksburg-Warren 911 and worked his way to become deputy director. “I’m excited,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot of responsibility, but I’m happy to be moving forward with 911 and working with the other agencies.

“I hate to see him (Tate) leaving,” he said.

“He did a lot with our 911 center, a lot of projects that we have, and he got us to where we are today, and I’m thankful for that.”

Tate plans to continue as a volunteer firefighter for Culkin and work with training new firefighters as they come into the department.

“It’s been a good run here; we’ve done a lot of things,” he said.

“We’ve made a lot of changes in how the organization functions, lot of hardware and software changes that are updating things. We’ve pretty much finished all those projects.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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