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Bill of the Day: Sheriff’s...

Bill of the Day: Sheriff’s departments could be given authority do wire taps

By: Sarah Ulmer - January 29, 2021

A bill in the Senate authored by freshman Senator Tyler McCaughn would allow for local sheriffs to possess, operate and monitor some devices.

SB 2010 adds local sheriffs’ departments to the existing law that gives selected law enforcement such access. Sheriffs would be able to implement a basic wire tap to monitor devices in an investigation. Currently, the Bureau of Narcotics is the lone agency to possess this ability.

The bill reads: 

No person, agency of the state or political subdivision of the state, other than the Bureau of Narcotics or a law enforcement officer employed by a Mississippi Sheriff’s Department, is authorized by this article to own, possess, install, operate or monitor an electronic, mechanical or other device. The Bureau of Narcotics or a Mississippi sheriff’s department may be assisted by an investigative or law enforcement  officer in the operation and monitoring of an interception of wire, oral or other communications, provided that an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics or a law enforcement officer employed by the sheriff’s department is present at all times.

The sheriffs would be required to designate in writing which deputies are responsible for the possession, installation, operation and monitoring of electronic, mechanical or other devices for the bureau.

The bill was referred to the Judiciary B and Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committees in the Senate. It is currently under the February 2 General bills deadline.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: