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Co-Lin adds officer for night duties

Copiah-Lincoln Community College will soon have a new face oncampus, and he or she will be there to make the usually quiet nighta little safer.

The college’s board of trustees Thursday approved the hiring ofa second full-time law enforcement officer to work the 11 p.m. to 7a.m. shift at the Wesson Campus. Currently the campus has one,College President Ronnie Nettles said.

“This is a new position,” he said, explaining that officialswill be looking for a certified full-time officer.

In response to one board member’s question about turnover at thecampus police department, Nettles responded that sometimes it’shard to find qualified full-time officers.

“It’s difficult to get people with the qualifications andcertifications we’re looking for,” he said. “We need sworn officersand if they can find a more competitive salary, they’ll gosomewhere else.”

Officials did not comment on whether the hiring was as a resultof an early October alleged attack on a female student in a men’sdormitory, but they did also mention that dorm safety had beenaddressed with students.

Student services spokesperson Barry Tyson said administratorsmet with students to discuss the issues.

“It was a mandatory meeting for male and female students in thedormitories,” he said, adding that they were given advice on how toraise awareness of their own personal safety.

The board also heard from an economic development official onoptions for completing the science lab and buying health careequipment for the Natchez campus Tuesday afternoon. Officials saidan application for a zero percent loan for $740,000 had been put into assist with the construction and equipment.

Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Economic DevelopmentPresident Tom Mood spoke to the board about the possibilities ofthe United States Department of Agriculture’s loan program and howit works through Southwest Mississippi EPA. He said many communitycolleges and hospitals have used the program to fund numerousprojects, and that there are only certain entities that can accessthose funds.

“It’s the next best thing to a grant,” Mood said. “It’s zeropercent money.”

Mood told the group that simply because a grant had beenobtained for the Natchez campus, it was not necessarily anindication that further loans could not be obtained in the futurefor Simpson County or Wesson through the same program.

In other action, the board discussed their yearlyself-evaluation, which grades their involvement, participation,understanding of the budgeting process and other generalassessments of their performance.

The board also discussed the revenues from the seven counties inthe district, noting that Lincoln, Lawrence and Simpson county aregiving more this year than they had in the past, while Adams andFranklin stayed the same. Copiah and Jefferson are both giving lessmoney this year than they did last year.

Finally, the Co-Lin Marching Band will march in the Mendenhallparade on Dec. 1, the Brookhaven parade on Dec. 3, the Wessonparade on Dec. 4, and New Hebron and Monticello on Dec. 5.

One board member took issue with the fact that the band hasmarched in the Wesson and Brookhaven parades consistently, sayingregard should be given to other places instead of those two everyyear.

“Historically, we have always marched in the Brookhaven parade,and always in Wesson,” Nettles said. “But that’s probably becausethere are so many of our students from there.”