By Sean Dunlap
Following a recommendation by Police Chief Reggie Cain and Mayor Linda Green, the Bude Board of Aldermen added a third officer to the ranks of the town’s police department on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Cain, who has held the chief’s position since December, said his evaluation of operations showed the town could benefit from having another officer on duty beside just himself and Everett Marshall.
“We’ve looking at bringing on an additional officer part-time, and tonight I want to introduce Kenneth Short, who I am asking be added to the department,” Cain said.
After a lengthy discussion, the panel unanimously approved the hiring of Short to work up to 30 hours per week as a law enforcement officer.
“Right now, I’m working on a schedule that will maximize our officers to provide the best coverage of the town while working within our budget,” Cain added.
Short, who lives in Brookhaven, is presently a full-time deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and has 14 years of law enforcement experience.
He previously worked for the Jackson Police Department.
“Chief Cain and I are friends and he asked would I be willing to come and lend a helping hand in Bude,” Short said in his remarks to the board during a question-and-answer period.
The question about compensation for Short arose during the board discussion, and Town Clerk Ellisha Ford said the municipality had received close to $24,000 in law enforcement reimbursement through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s my understanding these dollars must be spent by the police department, and that’s where the funds would come from for the salary,” Town Attorney Mary Katheryn Williamson said.
Alderman Norma Kelly questioned whether the funds that would be used to pay Short’s salary during the current budget cycle would come around again.
“The money we got was related to COVID-19, so it’s hard to say if we will get those funds again,” Ford said.
“My concern is where the money will come from to pay him beyond this year,” Kelly added.
Alderman Jeffery Quick then asked Cain what his future plans for the police department might call for.
Cain said his desire is to help the town build on its potential by addressing issues from a law enforcement prospective — and having adequate manpower to promote a safe community was a major key to success for his agency.
Williamson also noted during Cain’s brief tenure, the number of citations issued by the police department has increased, which goes back to the town and funding the police department.
“I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind that you need officers,” Williamson said. “If you’ve got the money now and it has to be used for policing, I can’t think of a better expenditure than adding another officer.”