SPD hosts winter conference for the first time

Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols speaks at the 38th Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Winter Education Conference at the Mill Conference Center on Tuesday. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Police Department launched the 38th Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Winter Education Conference for the first time at the Mill Conference Center on Tuesday.

The conference was opened up by President of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police John Miller, Mayor Lynn Spruill, Vice Mayor Roy A'. Perkins, SPD Chief Frank Nichols, Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney and President of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Orlando Trainer.

Nichols said there are around 100 police chiefs from all over the state ranging as far north like Olive Branch and as far south as Gulfport.

"Our main goal is to make sure that we are the best host for the chiefs who came here to further their education in law enforcement," Nichols said. "Of course, everything that is put out in this conference is there to help me do my job easier."

The conference began on Tuesday and will run all the way through Friday morning. The conference includes presentations from department heads, the FBI media manager and other educational experts.

"We catch up on different laws that's been passed and catch up on new technology," Nichols said. "I made sure we tapped into our local resources."

On Tuesday there was a presentation from MSU sociology professor David May who discussed the benefits of making policy research partners. He went in depth with his work and research with the Meridian Police Department and how to better their services.

There was also a presentation from the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at MSU who showcased tactical robots for law enforcement to use in both SWAT situations and everyday use as well.

Nichols said having these real life demonstrations and speakers "without a doubt" increase the learnability for those attending the conference.

With a large amount of chiefs from varying locations attending, Nichols said it is an extreme benefit having like-minded people discussing issues, problems and solutions with each other.

"Sharing information is a big thing in law enforcement," Nichols said. "Some of the same issues that I face at the Starkville Police Department are not unique to Starkville Police Department."

For Nichols, the most important part of the conference is to be a great host for everyone who made the trip to Starkville. He said he has been wanting to host this conference for years, but there haven't been the proper facilities until now.

"I think it's a great honor," Nichols said. "We're showing them a great time right now."