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Dollar added to fines will aid CrimeStoppers

WESSON – Local law enforcement’s efforts could get a financialboost following a move by the mayor and board of aldermen.

After hearing from Henry Bufkin Jr. of Copiah CountyCrimeStoppers, the board voted Tuesday to add a $1 fee to everymisdemeanor fine to benefit the organization.

“I think we need to be part of it. It’s a good organization,”said Police Chief Steve Carlisle when the board asked hisopinion.

Bufkin, who started the local group in 1999, after a woman wasstabbed 72 times in Copiah County, explained how beneficialCrimeStoppers can be for law enforcement.

Residents may call CrimeStoppers at 1-877-366-2274 to reportcrimes anonymously. Callers, who do not give their names, are givena code number and must call back within a week to find out if theirtip was useful, Bufkin said.

“If they report a crime and an arrest is made, we pay them,” hesaid.

Bufkin made it clear that callers cannot be made to testify incourt, giving them total anonymity.

He encouraged town officials and residents to attend thecountywide CrimeStoppers meeting on April 21 at the Multi-plexBuilding in Gallman.

In other action, town officials said they hope to have residentsinvolved in another countywide event, the Copiah County Clean UpDay scheduled for April 9.

Mayor Alton Shaw asked that aldermen ask a few people from eachward to help with the cleanup that day.

Wesson Librarian Susan Alsbury asked the board to considerhelping in the upcoming renovation project at the library.

She suggested the town buy paint, replace air vents, caulkcracks and install a deadbolt for the back door.

“We appreciate all you do, and I know you are continuouslystrapped, but I haven’t asked for anything in a long, long time,”she said.

Board members will take the request under consideration.

Another town improvement project addressed Tuesday was a motionto allow a variance in a zoning ordinance for the construction of aDollar General Store between Spring Street and Factory Street.

The building will come within 2 feet of the property line, whilethe ordinance requires a 5-foot space.

The old Cowen Chevrolet building will be torn down, andconstruction will begin within the next two weeks.

Before closing the meeting, the board went into executivesession to discuss personnel. They voted to give the town’s deputyclerk a raise.