Crenshaw calls

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crenshaw switches to Panola for calls

By Billy Davis

The Panola County Sheriff’s Department is now receiving 911 calls from Crenshaw, the town’s mayor has announced.

The new responsibility removes the task from the sheriff’s department in Quitman County, which had been handling the calls for many years.

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Crenshaw is located in parts of Quitman and Panola, with the Tunica County line also nearby.

Mayor Oscar Barlow announced the news at the June 3 meeting of the mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Panola Sheriff Otis Griffin, on hand for the announcement, said Panola dispatchers began handling the calls at noon that same day.

To boost the coverage area, the county has installed a $1,200 repeater on a tower outside the town, said the sheriff. A repeater amplifies radio waves to increase their range.

“Crenshaw is down in a hole,” making the repeater important for the town, Barlow explained at one point.

Griffin told town officials switching the emergency calls to Panola County is a logical move, since 90 percent of Crenshaw is located in Panola County.

Quitman deputies had responded to calls in the past, leaving Panola deputies unable to hear radio calls and respond immediately, according to Griffin.

“It’s been long overdue,” said the sheriff. “Crenshaw is no longer left out.”

Griffin also praised Billy Lambert, a Panola sheriff’s deputy, for his part-time work as interim police chief.

The sheriff also introduced Donna White, who oversees the department’s dispatch center.
Barlow asked White to thank the department’s dispatchers for their help.