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Flaggs wants compliance officer to make sure COVID-19 guidelines are followed

During a recent press conference, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said he was concerned about the rising number of new COVID-19 cases in Warren County.

He said he did not want to reinstate some of the business and community restrictions that were put in place during the start of the pandemic, but was keeping his options open.

At that same event, Flaggs said he would be working with the city’s code enforcement department and the city’s police department to do random checks on businesses to ensure they were complying with existing social distancing and civil emergency orders. And for those who weren’t, they could expect to receive a $1,000 citation.

That effort is expected to be put in force beginning next week, but with a change.

Instead of using the city’s code enforcement department, Flaggs is looking to hire a certified police officer, to work in his office as a compliance officer, who would start doing random checks of businesses and establishments.

Flaggs said Friday afternoon the move is in response to continued reports he is receiving of businesses not adhering to the strict social distancing guidelines put in place by local and state government.

“The numbers are steadily rising. As I ride around and given the number of complaints I get, it doesn’t seem it is working to simply have an ordinance on the books,” Flaggs said. “I don’t want to tie up the police department in this. I think it would be much more cost-effective if we do it this way.”

The officer, who would work part-time, would work directly for Flaggs in his role as the city’s police commissioner.

“This will give us the ability to spot check and target businesses to make sure they are complying,” Flaggs said.

He said the item would be part of Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and if passed, he would begin interviewing candidates as early as Wednesday. It is his hope to have this compliance officer in the community as quickly as possible.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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