Seminary Reinstates Police Department - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Seminary Reinstates Police Department

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"This is home to me," Chief of Police Michael Kelly said.   "I was born and raised in Seminary. The people in this town had a major part in raising me, so this is just a natural place for me to go. I'll retire right here."

Kelly explained that the Seminary Police Department was disbanded in the mid-90's and services were turned over to the Covington County Sheriff's Department.  However, Seminary is not the same town it was 20 years ago.

"As the town has grown, citizens and businesses came together and requested the police department be reinstated," Kelly said.

Officials approved, and the police department opened it's doors to serve over 400 Seminary residents Oct. 1.

Kelly said being a small town does not exempt them from the criminal elements.

"We deal with everything in Seminary from domestic violence to traffic violations just like they would in Hattiesburg," Kelly said.

He said, however, a big priority is community outreach.

"Our focus is on community service whether that be with a new program that we're starting - Senior Watch where we go and visit our senior citizens and shut-ins on a regular basis or education programs over at the school," Kelly said.

He said the six part-time employees of the department are thankful for the support they've received.

"We couldn't ask for a better administration for our town as far as support," Kelly said.  "The mayor and the Board of Aldermen have been absolutely outstanding to work with as far as Chief of Police goes. And the community loves us and we love them."

He said thanks to community support and a donation of about $18,000, the town did not have to raise taxes to start-up the police force.

That money went to things like a fully operational command center capable of running dispatch in the future.  It is also used for video conferences with state officials and other agencies.

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