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PageO Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Trained for success

PageP Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Marcus Banks

Fire chief has continued to learn new skills


arcus Banks says his devoted and hard-working mother, Dorothy Boles, was aghast in 1995 when he decided to join the Greenwood Fire Department. “My mother was not excited at all when I told her I was quitting school to become a fireman,” said Banks, who is now 45. “Education was always instilled in me and my siblings. ... My grandparents said that education was always something no one could take from you.” He persevered and not only rose to chief but earned several degrees while working as a firefighter and serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. The Greenwood High School graduate earned an associate’s degree from Meridian Community College and then a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s in public policy and planning, with a specialty in health care administration, both from Mississippi Valley State University. At the Fire Department — the only fire department for which he’s ever worked — he rose up the ranks to captain and training chief and then fire chief. He has more than 2,000 hours in state, national and international certification. It turns out his mother, a longtime hospital nurse who often worked graveyard shifts, need not have worried. “I was a studious kid, very shy and introverted,” said Banks, who now is married and the father of three daughters. He grew up on Oak Street, and when his mother was a work, he took care of his younger siblings, making sure they were fed wand dressed. “I would comb my sister’s hair,” he said. And he was “a mean sandwich maker,” although his mother usually prepared meals for the family and left them at the house. His mother would come home from a night at work, go to bed, get up when her children came home from school and then take a nap. Banks would awaken her when it was time for her to return to work. He learned responsibility and organizational skills, starting at age 13 when his mother and his father, Luther Lee Banks of Philipp, divorced. Both parents provided him with inspiration, and his dad taught him to hunt, which is important because Banks is an avid deer hunter. When deer season arrives, he and several members of the Fire Department take off for their hunting club in Tallahatchie County when they are not at work. Or sometimes Banks hunts on family land at Philipp or at another place closer to Greenwood. “It really keeps me sane,” he said. If there’s a fire in Greenwood and he’s hunting nearby, he’s likely to return for it. But he said if he is too far afield, he knows he can trust the well-trained, physically fit 50 or more members of the department to fight the fire safely and well. “I have an amazing command staff,” Banks said. “They can hold it down until I get back.” They know what they are doing, and much of this comes from training, he said. They don’t sit around watching a lot of television at the station. “It’s mandatory from 8 a.m. to 12: No TVs on at all,” he said. “There’s not much sitting around in the lounge.” Instead, the firefighters are studying Greenwood’s building and street layouts for sprinkler systems, practicing and maintaining equipment. And they are required to stay physically fit. This is to keep them

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“You can’t lead an organization if you have not walked in their shoes or you have not trained. Well, you cannot be an effective leader. ’’ Marcus Banks


mentally and physically prepared so they will not have to think of what to do if they get in a jam; they will automatically know how to proceed. “Fear is not bad, but panic will get you killed,” Banks said. For example, firefighters learn to count the windows of a building and get the floor plan in mind before entering it to fight a fire. This orients them toward where they can break out a window to leave a building if need be, Banks said. Banks, who grew up attending East Percy Street Christian Church, is now a deacon at Traveler’s Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Rising Sun. Several years ago, Traveler’s Rest went up in flames. “I was in that fire when it flashed and we had to bail out a window in a hurry,” he recalled. Now, while he is in church, he sometimes looks at the windows of the rebuilt sanctuary and remembers his blessings.

He also remembers when a peanut warehouse in Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Park caught fire in December 2017. “That thing was slap full of peanuts,” he said. He and his wife were on their way to Memphis, so they turned around. “When I got there, they (a group of firefighters) had climbed up on the pile of peanuts. I went ballistic.” They had endangered their lives. The training chief, Martrellis McDowell, investigated similar fires, including one in Georgia and another in Clarksdale. “They all told us, ‘You will not put this out.’” Peanuts are full of oil, and it was burning. The department dug trenches. “We had to control the runoff from the oil. It was like moving lava — flame,” he said. Three weeks later, the fire quit burning. Banks said he learned from Larry Griggs, who was the fire chief before him, that his leadership skills were needed in the community, and it was important that people across the community learn more about them. “The community needs to know that you are more than a firefighter,” Banks said Griggs explained. Banks joined the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greenwood class for young adults and expanded his associations. When Griggs retired, Banks went to meet with Mayor Carolyn McAdams about becoming chief. During their talk, he said there was only one problem: He couldn’t be chief if she didn’t want him to go hunting. No problem, said the mayor.


Sometimes when she calls, he said, she’ll ask, “Are you in a deer stand?” He said it was coincidental last year when he was called up to join the board of the financially troubled Greenwood Leflore Hospital after Griggs announced he would not continue his tenure on the board. Banks, who now is the board’s vice chairman, said he did not want the job because of the political and racial issues affecting the board at the time. He said he was approached about it by elected officials from both the city and Leflore County, but “my initial response was, ‘Not in a million years.’” At the time, another nominee, also African American, was being publicly considered. “I didn’t want to be the black guy who was pitted against another black guy,” Banks said. He changed his mind, accepted the nomination and was confirmed. “In the end, it was the right decision,” he said, “although it was controversial in the black community. ... For about three weeks, it was just brutal.” Banks said the hospital’s financial fires are new to him, but he is acting along with the other board members to slow the burn and, it is hoped, put them out. Throughout his education, both in school and in the fire department, he has tackled situations that diversified his areas of training. “You can’t lead an organization if you have not walked in their shoes or you have not trained,” Banks said — adding, “Well, you cannot be an effective leader.” n

PageQ Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Leading by example

PageR Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Clint Walker

Faith guides Carroll County sheriff’s work


our years ago, Clint Walker and his family began to venture into unknown territory. “The Lord laid it on my heart to run for sheriff of Carroll County,” said Walker, who was first elected to the job in 2015 and recently won a second term. “I never wanted to get into politics; I’m pretty shy by nature. I turn red when I get in front of folks.” He said he never imagined he would become involved in smalltown government, but when he felt God’s call, he answered it. “Whenever God calls us to a task, he’ll equip us and enable us to complete that task,” he said. Adapting to political life has been challenging at times, but Walker said what keeps him and his family going is their “steadfast commitment to the Lord and to each other.” Walker began his law enforcement career in Greenwood as a probation officer working house arrests. He said the night that changed his professional life forever occurred in the winter of 1999. He received a call that a woman had cut her house-arrest watch off. He

said her residence was in an area known for drug use, specifically crack cocaine. After entering the house, he recalled the living room’s floor having a hole straight to the ground outside. Walker said right beside the hole was a baby, unclothed, lying in the floor and covered in its own waste. “That’s when God laid on my heart the power of narcotics — that something could be so powerful to take away the desire for that mother to care for her child,” he said. A few months later, Walker applied for a job with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, where he worked for 16 years. He said his experience there has helped shape the way he runs the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. “I had a lot of knowledge in working in narcotics but very little in local law,” he said. “I ran, and God opened that door up. It’s been a blessing.” Since the beginning of Walker’s first term in January 2016, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office has made 658 misdemeanor arrests and 291 felony arrests, while also resolving more than 70% of reported burglaries and

removing 315 drunk drivers from the county’s roadways. Walker credits the increase in arrests to the improvements made in the department since he took office. “After my election in 2015, I was deeply troubled by the condition and lack of equipment within our department,” he said. To help improve his deputies’ training and upgrade the department’s resources, he asked citizens and businesses in Carroll and surrounding counties to help with donations to the department’s Officer Safety Fund. “Through donations and the generosity of businesses in the county and surrounding counties, over $120,000 has gone through our Officer Safety Fund account,” he said. “It has bought new weapons, new vests and it pays for the deputies’ training with the State Bureau of Narcotics and the FBI SWAT team.” The department has also received grants and new patrol units as donations from other law enforcement agencies. Through those donations and grants, the department has been able to -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------pÉÉ WALKER, m~ÖÉ=NN

Always listening Police Dispatchers


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Job requires being prepared for anything


police dispatcher must always expect the unexpected, says Irene Stancil. “You have to always be prepared,” she said. Stancil has worked as a dispatcher for 20½ years at the Greenwood Police Department. “You just have to be a dispatcher to really understand what comes along with the job,” she said. “Like everything else, it changes. Your caller changes, and your situation with the caller changes.” Being a dispatcher is not for everyone, but Stancil loves the job. “I like helping people, and once I got in here and I learned how to be a dispatcher, I just got a feeling in my heart,” she said. One of a dispatcher’s most commonly known job duties is being the first point of contact for people in distress, whether it’s a traffic accident, a crime or a life-threatening situation. Stancil answers the phone with, “Greenwood Police Department, can I help you?” “And then they tell me what’s going on,” she said. “I will send an officer to them, making sure I get enough information for

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the officer’s safety.” However, a dispatcher’s duties go far beyond answering calls. “A dispatcher is probably one of the most

underrated employees that I have,” said Greenwood Police Chief Ray Moore. “Very few people understand the stress of their day-to-day activities. ... They are what keep


this department together.” Moore said a dispatcher is a patrolman’s lifeline. He said, in addition to a dispatcher’s responsibilities, “their job is to also keep up with the officers out on the street — know where they are and what kind of call they are on.” When officers respond to a call, they typically request information from the dispatcher, such as relevant Social Security, license and car tag numbers. Moore said dispatchers know what amount of time should pass before hearing from an officer. “You’ve got to pay attention,” he said. If more time than normal passes, “it’s time to start being concerned. If dispatch calls once or twice and the officer doesn’t answer, that’s an automatic sign to get folks headed that way.” Stancil said, “I’m looking at the time, and I’m like, ‘No, he or she has been out there too long.’” Then, she will call the officer on the radio and ask if “everything is 10-2,” or is everything OK. If the officer is in no danger, he or she will respond, “10-4, headquarters.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------pÉÉ DISPATCH, m~ÖÉ=NN

PageS Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Chief Ray Moore

Deputy Chief Marvin Hammond Sr.

Lt. Jeri Bankston

Chief’s Secretary Whitney Barry

Court Clerk Felicia Bedell

Dispatcher Yvette Bishop

Officer William Blake

Lt. Joshua Boyd

Capt. William Burleson

Officer Angelisa Butcher

Deputy Records Clerk Farrah Chandler

Sgt. Melvin Cook

Office Clerk Mavis Cosper

Lt. Terrence Craft

Dispatcher Claudette Curry

Officer Hunter Davis

Officer Tyler Ellingburg

Reserve Officer Jerry Foster

Sgt. Rolando Galvan

Sgt. Edgar Gibson

Lt. Byron Granderson

Records Clerk Annette Griffin

Deputy Court Clerk Rochelle Gunn

Officer Jim Hammer

Lt. Amos Hayes

Sgt. Kevin Hayes

Dispatcher Sharneice Hibbler

Officer Matthew Higginbotham

Deputy Court Clerk Mable Hopkins

Officer Robert Jackson Jr.

Capt. Michael Johnson

Officer Robert Johnson

Sgt. David Layton

Capt. Talisha Leach

Reserve Lt. Curtis Lee

Officer Taylor Lofton

Dispatcher Mary Lyons

Reserve Sgt. Lonnie Magee

Officer Michael March

Sgt. Bryan May

Officer Keiandria McClee

Officer Megan McKinnon

PageT Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Reserve Sgt. Steve Noble

Lt. Webster Nuel

Capt. Byron O’Bryant

Animal Control Officer Keith Peeples

Reserve Officer Perry Rice

Officer Heather Roberts

Officer Angie Rushing

Officer Anndreka Scott

Sgt. Serafin Simon

Dispatcher Irene Stancil

Animal Control Officer Fitzgerald Stevenson

Officer Joshua Stewart

Records Clerk Sheletha Stokes

Reserve Capt. T.J. Tackett

Officer Clarence Tolbert Jr.

Detective Secretary Joyce Turner

Sgt. Zach Underwood

Dispatcher Colby Watson

Janitorial Tech Newanda Webb

Dispatcher Teveeta Whitehead

Officer Jerry Williams

Leflore County Director Fred Randle

Leflore County Deputy Director Dorothy C. Ivory

Carroll County Director Ken Strachan

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Officer Martellis Wright

Leflore County Coroner Debra Sanders

Leflore County Deputy Coroner Will Gnemi

Leflore County Deputy Coroner Jacquelyn Brownlow

Carroll County Coroner Mark Stiles

Leflore County/ Carroll County Deputy Coroner Bill Lord

PageU Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Chief Marcus Banks

Assistant Chief John Lewis

Sgt.  Raymond Banks

Firefighter First Class Julian Beamon

Apprentice Firefighter Derone Belcher

Capt. Lavar Bolden

Firefighter Xavaier Brister

Battalion Chief Tony Brown

Capt. Shun Byrd

Battalion Chief Willie Coker

Capt. Charles Cooley

Firefighter First Class Cleother Crain Jr.

Lt. Jarvis Davis

Firefighter First Class Curtis Elliott

Capt. Maurice Ellis

Firefighter First Class Hunter Flanagan

Firefighter Jermmie Gatlin

Capt. Chris Glass

Apprentice Firefighter Motarius Harris

Firefighter First Class Cary Hayes

Apprentice Firefighter Jameriz Hemphill

Capt. Scott Hemphill

Firefighter Kalcy Hill

Sgt. Travell James

Capt. Ja’Moni Jennings

Sgt. Christopher Jones

Capt. Sean Jones

Lt. Alfred King

Sgt. Johnny Langdon Jr.

Firefighter First Class Howard Lowe

Sgt. Cedric Martin

Training Chief Martrellis McDowell

Firefighter First Class Willlie McKinney

Firefighter First Class Eric Moore

Capt. Detrick Munford

Firefighter Ronnie Payne

Firefighter Marquez Perry

Firefighter First Class Marcus Ramsey

Secretary Cassandra Simmons

Capt. Jamie Simon

Firefighter Derry Skinner

Battalion Chief William Thompson

PageV Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

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Capt. Marvin Turner

Firefighter First Class Wardell Turner Jr.

Capt. Jason Wallace

Firefighter Christian Williams

Firefighter Raquan Young

Sheriff Ricky Banks

Undersheriff Ken Spencer

Investigator Michael Baldwin

E-911 Jennifer Brown

E-911 Wendalyn Brown

Deputy Eddie Cates

E-911 Lekeita Donley

Records Clerk Bessie Flowers

Secretary Debbie Fouché

Deputy Alex Granderson

Robert Haggie

Sgt. Danny Henry

Sgt. Michael Hoskins

Deputy Coy Lee Keys

Deputy Dwight McCaskill

Deputy R.A. Powell

Capt. Robert Quinn

E-911 Moronda Randle

Christine Scott

Deputy David Shaw

E-911 Jayla Smith

Deputy  Jeremy Smith

Deputy Jerry Smith

Deputy Rodney Spencer

Chief Investigator Bill Staten

Deputy Colby Trotter

Sgt. Cody Vanlandingam

Deputy Ted Washington

Deputy Len Wooden

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PageNM Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

Sheriff Clint Walker

Chief Deputy Adam Eubanks

Warden Brandon Smith

Deputy Robert Anderson

Deputy Mark Beck

Deputy Roshaun Daniels

Deputy Blake Herring

Deputy Trinity Hoover

Deputy Adam Jennings

Deputy Mark Mulconrey

Deputy Shelia Peeples

Deputy Banks Tucker

Deputy Therrell Turner

Deputy David Ward

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PageNN Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================


`çåíáåìÉÇ=Ñêçã=m~ÖÉ=R ---------------------------------------------------------Safety is Stancil’s top priority. “At the end of the shift, I want everybody to go home,” she said. Moore said it takes a special person to be a dispatcher. “No. 1, they’ve got to have a little maturity to them for the simple reason of dealing with the stress they deal with day in and day out,” he said. “They’ve got to be able to multitask.” A typical scenario in the dispatch room can include phones ringing, the radio going off and officers stopping by to request information — all at the same time. “When I say ‘multitask,’ that’s probably an understatement,” Moore added. “They have to be able to remain calm and to think

ahead.” The Greenwood Police Department has eight dispatchers — two to a shift. Moore said he has seen them “handle, time after time, extremely stressful situations extremely professional.” “When they answer the phone, they may be the last person to hear that individual’s voice, and their voice may be the last one that individual hears,” said Moore. The number of calls varies from day to day. “Call volume will go up, and then it will come back down,” Stancil said. “It will stay down for two or three hours, and then boom.” Dispatchers must go through training before they begin taking calls. “At the beginning, you have to go to a 40-hour week class to be certified through the state,” said Stancil.

After becoming certified, the Greenwood dispatchers attend additional training classes to hone their skills. The classes also “help us to realize what our guys go through when they are out in the field, and we give them calls,” Stancil said. Stancil said she especially enjoys her work when she can help the elderly and children who call. “You have to be compassionate and patient with them,” she said. “When kids call, you have to be the mother.” Stancil likes that she is able to provide the callers in distress with “the necessary help that they need at the time that they call.” Sometimes the job can be tough, and not only because at any moment a call can turn into a high-pressure situation. It can be difficult “when someone calls and they are upset, and I’m trying to get

information,” Stancil said. “I will tell them to calm down. ‘You’re going to help me, and I’m going to help you. So calm down, and tell me what’s the problem.’” On a recent weekday, Stancil worked two traffic accidents, each involving an 18-wheeler. “One needed MedStat, and then the officers call in the information,” she said. A dispatcher’s responsibilities also include calling for medical assistance if requested, a wrecker for car accidents and sometimes the fire department. No two days of being a dispatcher are the same. “It is very challenging, because when you come to work, you never know what your shift is going to be like,” said Stancil. But she enjoys the challenge. “I just love being a dispatcher,” she said. n

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well trained, and audits have attested to the jail’s success.” Walker said the hardest part of his job is seeing pain `çåíáåìÉÇ=Ñêçã=m~ÖÉ=R -------------------------------------------------------------- in the eyes of families that replace older vehicles with crime has affected, especiallittle impact to its budget. ly when drug addiction is The new vehicles, with involved. This is why he their clear markings, also focuses heavily on ridding help deter crime and lower Carroll County of narcotics. “I can’t tell you how many maintenance costs, he said. Walker lives up to his mothers and fathers have promise of being a working sat in those chairs and sheriff, which he made to wept over their children because of drug addiction,” Carroll County citizens. “I do answer calls, and I he said. He said the best part of train with the guys,” he said. “I also go on foot chas- his job is seeing the positive es. I’m recovering now from impacts of arrest. “Seeing a bruised knee from a foot addicts redeemed, those are rewards that God lets chase.” Walker credits God for us see,” he said. Walker said God opened the success of the departhis eyes to the realization ment throughout his first that he was no different four years as sheriff. “We’re solving crimes, from the criminals he was and it’s so evident when we arresting. He uses this realmake the arrests that God ization daily to talk to those did it,” he said. “He leads us he arrests about how God to it in His time. Some of has changed his life. “That’s where we can them may not be when we really be good law enforcewant to solve them; they may go on for several ment officers,” he said. weeks, but God helps us “When we realize we are no solve these cases. I think it’s different than anybody else just because people are — our sins aren’t any difpraying for this sheriff’s ferent than somebody who broke into a house. It gives department to succeed.” He also has been in- us a great opportunity to volved in the improvement share what God has done of the Carroll-Montgomery for us.” Walker praised those Regional Correctional who work for him and said Facility. Before his department took over that facility, the department would not its budget was in chaos, be successful without them. “The men and women with questions of whether who make up our departpayroll would be met. “The jail now operates ment are some of the most well within its budget and dedicated, courteous and has paid off all its debt,” professional law enforcesaid Walker. “The men and ment officers I have ever women who are on staff are known,” he said. n

PageNO Greenwood Commonwealth / Wednesday, November 13, 2019 cfopq=obpmlkabop =======================================================================================================================================================================

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