Mississippi sheriff says he’s hopeful as Tate Reeves works on teacher pay, he doesn’t forget first responders as well

Published 3:14 pm Sunday, August 1, 2021

A Mississippi sheriff took to social media Sunday to urge Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to help the Magnolia State’s first responders by giving them all raises.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten wrote an open letter to Reeves Sunday on Facebook.

Patten said as the son of an educator he appreciated Reeves’ statement at the Neshoba County Fair last week that the state should seek to provide additional pay raises for Mississippi teachers. But he also said Mississippi’s law enforcement, fire and other first responders also need additional pay.

“… While the state is in a giving mood, please don’t forget about local law enforcement agencies and other first responders as well,” Patten wrote. “Before and during Covid, we still answered the call. The Pandemic did not stop those of us who serve, from showing up to answer the call.

“Even if we knew the residence that we were responding to had Covid, we answered the call anyway,” he wrote.

Patten said first responders are “suffering mentally, physically and financially.”

“As you work with the state legislature to give the teachers those well-deserved raises, I ask that you work with the county supervisors statewide to do the same for law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, DPS workers and other first responders,” he wrote.

“… Crime is everyone’s issue and we need to take care of those who fight it,” Patten wrote. “That’s why I am asking the state to work with the county to help (us).”

Patten said first responder agencies are losing employees to car dealerships, Walmart, restaurants and other employers who pay better.