701 James Street
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Main Line: 601-544-7900
Municipal Court: 601-545-4933
Victims Advocate: 601-554-3613
NEWS & REPORTS
The Animal Control Division is responsible for the enforcement of state laws and local ordinances pertaining to animals. This division serves as a contact point for the public with regard to animal problems and issues. The staff strives to assure the protection, health and safety of animals and people through education and enforcement of regulations.
The Animal Control Division provides a highly visible animal control presence in the community through patrol, which addresses many of the concerns of local residents, such as loose dogs. Animal Control provides emergency service 24 hours per day, seven days a week for addressing exigent circumstances.
- Office 601-554-3603
Weekends & After Hours:
- Police dispatch 601-545-4913
- Mobile 601-297-7655
The communications center is responsible for handling approximately 140,000 requests for service, annually, from the public. Known as “dispatchers,” telecommunicators advise officers when and where to respond to calls and provide information and support services as requested through such means as radio, telephone and computer. Communications personnel are also the primary public safety answering point for all 911 calls within the city.
The Community Relations Division serves as a liaison between the Hattiesburg Police Department and the citizens of Hattiesburg with the intent of identifying and addressing current issues and/or potential issues within the community. Community Relations is charged with the task of providing crime prevention education for individual citizens, public/private organizations, schools, businesses, and residential neighborhoods. It is believed that education, awareness and preparation are key elements for the safety and security of our citizens. The Community Relations Division is also charged with conducting case-follow ups for residential, auto and commercial burglaries.
The duties of community relations include, but are not limited to:
- Crime prevention programs
- Self-protection seminars
- General crime prevention seminars (residential burglary, commercial burglary, and auto burglary)
- Consumer fraud prevention
- Child safety (stranger danger, bicycle safety, 911 procedures, and etc.)
- Neighborhood watch
- D.A.R.E. – Drug Abuse Resistance Education
- G.R.E.A.T. – Gang Resistance Education and Training
POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE
The Police Athletic League (PAL) is a youth crime prevention program that uses educational, athletic and recreational activities to encourage trust and understanding between police officers and youth. This program believes that early, positive interactions between young people and police will result in youth having better and more positive attitudes toward law enforcement.
With reference to police and youth, studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field, gym or in a classroom, then that youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to our youth, our police officers, our neighborhoods and our business community.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION
The Criminal Investigation Division is charged with pursuing leads with the overall objective of finding and arresting people responsible for committing crimes. These investigators handle crimes ranging from homicides to burglaries. Once an investigation is initiated, criminal patterns are researched with the hopes of finding evidence directing them to a successful conclusion. Also in this division, crime data analysts incorporate their skills in gathering information and combining resources to assist investigators, other officers and law enforcement agencies in identifying criminals.
If you think you have information that will help solve criminal offenses, call Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-7867 or contact staff in the Criminal Investigation Division.
CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION UNIT
The Hattiesburg Police Department has two crime scene investigators who are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The Crime Scene Unit provides support to the Hattiesburg Police Department and other surrounding agencies with services in the form of crime scene processing, fingerprint identification and forensic imaging. The roles and responsibilities of the Crime Scene Unit include the collection, preservation, packaging, transporting and documentation of physical evidence left at the crime scene.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT
Due to a growing number of domestic violence cases, the Hattiesburg Police Department operates a Domestic Violence Unit. This unit consists of detectives who are trained and well-educated in areas involving intimate relationship violence. Additionally, this unit work directly with the department’s victim advocates in ensuring that victims are safe from harm, and also conducts follow-up interviews with victims, acquires supplementary evidence (photographs, medical reports, etc.), communicates with judges in preparing arrest warrants and indemnifies that all reported cases are completed before being forwarded for prosecution to the county’s district attorney’s office.
The responsibility of the Internal Affairs Unit is to investigate complaints against Hattiesburg Police Department employees relating to misconduct, violation of Civil Service or department policies, rules or procedures and imprudent performance of duty. Complaints may be derived internally or upon request from citizens.
In order to ensure that all employees operate by the high standards of service required by the Hattiesburg Police Department and to maintain the confidence of the public, all complaints are thoroughly and impartially investigated.
Internal Affairs procedures are designed to protect the rights of the public and the rights of the employees of the Hattiesburg Police Department. To that end, the Internal Affairs Unit reports directly to the Chief of Police.
To file a complaint, contact the Internal Affairs Office at 601-545-4940 or stop by the Hattiesburg Police Department to request a complaint affidavit. Civil Service Rules mandate that formal complaints be made in writing.
Contracted by the City of Hattiesburg, the coordinator for the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security (MOHS) Task Force III (TF III) is housed inside of the Hattiesburg Police Department. MOHS has the state divided into three sections and ours, Task Force III covers all counties south of Highway 84 to the Gulf Coast.
The duties include: coordinating the recruiting of local responders from police and fire departments and Emergency Management Agencies; coordinating the training opportunities for these responders and their reimbursement fees, when applicable; coordinating the credentialing and credentialing updates for all Homeland Security responders in Task Force III; assisting other MOHS staffers in the development of MOHS exercises, policies, and procedures; assisting all Task Force agencies with their Bi-Annual Strategic Implementation Report, which is a financial report of Homeland Security funds and expenditures and assisting all Task Force agencies with their yearly National Incident Management System (NIMS) reporting.
Consisting of four captains, four lieutenants, four sergeants and at least seven officers per shift, the Uniform Patrol Division is the backbone of the department. Each day, these men and women, who make up the largest component of the Hattiesburg Police Department, are placed in the direct path of crime and calls for service.
Patrol officers are assigned to particular beats within the city, thus allowing them to become familiar with a specific area and to establish contacts with the public. Efforts to prevent and reduce crime are achieved through proactive patrol techniques in problem areas and by frequent contact with citizen groups and individuals. Patrol also includes the Field Training Program, which features a comprehensive curriculum and standardized evaluation system of probationary officers. Once an officer is hired, he or she is assigned to field training and after successful completion of this phase, the officer is then placed on solo patrol within the beat structure.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVISION
The HPD Traffic Division, which is also known as the “Motor Unit” consists of officers who are responsible for the orderly flow of traffic throughout the city limits by monitoring motor vehicle drivers. These motorcycle officers respond to vehicle accidents, run radar and perform funeral and dignitary escorts. Furthermore, this unit is also responsible for overseeing all special functions which occur within the city such as parades, festivals, charity runs and other traffic-related activities.
The department currently has one DUI Enforcer who handles the majority of the calls for service involving drunken drivers and is responsible for strictly enforcing the driving under the influence laws.
Additionally, the department has a DUI Coordinator who works closely with the DUI Officers in preparing documentation for court cases involving DUIs. DUI Court is usually held each Thursday in the City of Hattiesburg Municipal Courtroom.
Highway Interdiction Team (H.I.T.)
The tireless efforts of the sworn officers of the Hattiesburg Police Department are aided tremendously by the work of a different breed of officers…the canine kind.
Police service dogs supplement and enhance the capabilities of police personnel. K-9 units are made up of a K-9 trained police officer and a canine that work together on a daily basis to identify illegal substances and provide a powerful psychological deterrent to potential offenders. These specialized capabilities make K-9 units one of the most effective tools available to the department. An integral part of the police function, this police-canine combination increases the potential for success of the entire agency.
Crime Suppression Team (STRIKE)
To help combat the number of residential, commercial and auto burglaries and to suppress high-crime areas throughout the city, the Hattiesburg Police Department operates a Crime Suppression Team known to many as “STRIKE.”
With offenses like noise complaints, disorderly conducts and public drinking, the Crime Suppression Team frequently shifts its focus on violations that lessen a neighborhood’s quality of life. Additionally, they assist other areas within the department, such as patrol, whose response time is often limited by the mere quantity of service calls.
STRIKE functions as a special operations team. This unit performs targeted and task-oriented police activities. Like other specialized units, this squad employs a variety of tactics in their services, including maneuvering through communities on bikes and walking or driving in unmarked units.
Metro Narcotics/12th Judicial District Narcotics Enforcement Team
The Hattiesburg Police Department contributes two officers to the 12th Judicial District Narcotics Enforcement Team. This unit operates as a collaborative effort between the cities of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest and Perry Counties. Each of these jurisdictions provide officers who work undercover narcotics inside this district. These officers work to ensure that an aggressive and effective effort is made to suppress organized crime and vice activities in the community, predominantly narcotics enforcement.
Special Tactics and Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.)
Consisting of officers within the police department, the S.T.A.R. Team is trained in special tactics for high-risk situations that may occur at any moment. They respond to seven main categories of calls:
- Hostage situations
- Sniper calls
- Barricaded subjects: Armed subject(s) barricaded against an arrest
- Barricaded subjects: Armed subject(s) threatening suicide and a threat to others
- Heavy arrest: Arrest of multiple armed felons in a fortified location
- Dignitary protection
- Special circumstances (terrorist threats, etc.)