Great aunt, others thrilled
By Gail M. Brown
On Friday July 27, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department introduced three of the 10 new “state of the art” patrol cars being put on the road this year.
While replenishing the fleet was highly needed, the thrill and excitement seemed to have centered around Sheriff Tyrone Lewis’ name being on the cars. The Sheriff told The Mississippi Link that he had originally planned not to worry about putting his name on the cars. “I just want to be a servant of the people,” he said. He explained that his name on the cars really was not a big issue for him.
Shakespeare once asked the question in his famous “Romeo and Juliet,” “What’s in a name?” Well for Lewis’ great aunt Sally England and a number of other citizens, a name means a great deal. When they realized that they had not seen his name on any of the cars since he became Sheriff, they began to inquire about it.
Lewis said when his great aunt made the statement: “Are you going to let me leave this world without getting a chance to see your name on the cars as sheriff?” That is when he decided to do it, but not just for her but for “the will of the people.”
“Praise the Lord!” England said as she raised her arm in the air at the sight of her great nephew’s name on the partrol cars. “I am so thankful that I got to see this. We’re making history.”
Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham, who attended the event said it was time for some new patrol cars for the department. The old fleet has between 100,000 and 500,000 miles on them. Lewis told reporters that he was coming from Utica one evening and saw one of his deputies on the side of the road having car trouble. He knew then something had to be done.
Graham said, “We have been spending more money on repairs and maintenance of the old fleet than we should.”
The new cars cost about $24,000 each as part of a package deal with a local dealer.
The Dodge Chargers have V6 engines, which will be more efficient on gas mileage than the old V8 Crown Victorias. Directional lights are affixed on top so traffic can be directed during emergency road situations. Push bumpers are also on them to help with getting inoperable vehicles off the road.
Three deputies were introduced who would be assigned to the first three cars. They were chosen for their good track record as drivers and for seniority.