FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is making some changes after a man was shot and killed by a deputy in July.
The man was killed on Thursday, July 14 in the 300 block of South Chancellor Avenue in Hattiesburg. He was being served with a writ that would commit him for mental treatment when he was fatally shot in the torso by the deputy. The deputy suffered a head injury after being hit with a blunt object.
On October 24, the Office of the Attorney General released a statement that said the deputy was justified in shooting the man.
The Hattiesburg American reported the FSCO conducted its own investigation. Though they also found that the deputy didn’t violate any policies, Sheriff Charlie Sims said changes would be made.
The sheriff’s office is working on a new mental health response policy that involves consultation Nand collaboration with the Forrest County Chancery Clerk and Pine Belt Mental Health Resources (PBMHR).
A Co-Responder Unit with the Pine Belt Mental Healthcare’s Mobile Crisis Response Team was also created. Additionally, the Forrest County Board of Supervisors will allocate more funds to PBMHR to hire more personnel who can provide support to adults and children who are experiencing mental health crises.
Sims said team will be built to prevent the likelihood that a person experiencing a mental health crisis is unnecessarily placed in jail or a holding facility.
He also said training will be implemented for officers who don’t have crisis intervention training.
According to the Hattiesburg American, some policy changes were implemented before the Attorney General’s investigation was complete.