The man with a plan: Gluckstadt’s new police chief builds department from scratch

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:36 AM CDT
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GLUCKSTADT, Miss. (WLBT) - Gluckstadt’s new police chief is getting to build the police department from the ground up.

”I would like to see us as one of the safest cities in Mississippi and one of the safest in the nation,” Chief Wendell Watts said.

Chief Watts is having to do something most chiefs will never have to do -- start a department from scratch.

“We’ve set up a lot of things getting in place, policies, procedures, we’re doing some hiring, purchasing of vehicles, creating uniforms. We get to do everything from start to finish,” Chief Watts said.

From designing the new department’s logo to working with a contractor to create the new police station, Chief Watts has been working to check every box.

Chief Watts has laid out 30, 60, and 90-day plans that will keep him from missing something.

“We’re purchasing vehicles, we’re purchasing officer equipment, from guns to tasers, to uniforms, to body cameras, to in-car cameras. There’s a lot of stuff that we’re going to be spending money on,” Chief Watts explained.

So what about the officers themselves? Chief Watts said they will have 10 patrol officers by October, who will start at $36,000 per year.

“I’m also pulling officers from other agencies, too. I’m also pulling, planning on pulling officers from straight out of college,” Chief Watts said.

And in 3 years, he hopes the department will expand to 30 to 50 officers.

Chief Watts said with the support of city leaders, his experience in the Jackson Police Department, and Gluckstadt’s potential to grow, he has no doubt that the department will become something the city takes pride in.

“What I can bring here is the experience that I got from Jackson, and I can take what I learned, what I was unsuccessful with, what I was successful with, and I can make this successful here,” Chief Watts said.

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