Former Lee County Correctional Officer Dustin Tutor of Mantachie joins the West Point Police Department staff as a patrol officer who holds an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and brings along several years of law enforcement experience.
Tutor is a 2010 graduate of Itawamba Community College where he attended before completing a 400-hour internship with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department prior to being hired there as a correctional officer. Tutor worked as a correctional officer for two years before being promoted to corporal and working as a shift supervisor and is excited about his new role at the WPPD.
As a kid, Tutor said he always pictured himself being a police officer and looked up to his uncle with admiration as his uncle worked as an officer of the law himself. Tutor first pursued his love of law enforcement at the Tupelo Junior Police Academy, which he attended in eighth grade and said since that time he knew working as an officer is what he wanted to do.
“A lot of people go through college never knowing what they want to do, and this is just something, even as a kid, that has been my dream,” Tutor said.
During his internship at the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Tutor got to see first hand what officers encounter day to day as he rode along with deputies as part of his training.
“They took me under their wing, and it was a really great experience because I could just sit back and watch how they handled things,” he said. “I was with different officers, and each one had their own way of handling things so I learned there’s more than one way of handling a situation out there on the streets. Some of things you see in law enforcement can be pretty graphic, so that experience helped me mature up and opened my eyes a lot to reality.”
Inside the Lee County Jail as a correctional officer, Tutor’s experience expanded to working with criminals in a closed environment but noted that once officers got in a bind at the jail their backup was only seconds away. He said the jail experience will help him out on the streets as he patrols, which he said was his ultimate goal.
“You may deal with someone who’s brought in for a simple traffic violation and the next person is brought in for murder,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to get, and you have to handle each inmate differently. Just like on the road on patrol, you’re going to have to handle each individual differently. Nothing is ever the same.”
Tutor is now training alongside other patrolmen with the WPPD and will soon attend the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Tutor was sworn in last week at West Point City Hall and is ready to assist the WPPD in deterring crime in the community and keeping citizens safe.
“I want to be able to influence the community to help out, and just patrolling an area helps cut down on crime,” Tutor said. “It’s nice to be able to be a part of that. It’s a world of difference going from working inside a jail to working in patrol because every day at the jail you’re working with criminals. As a police officer you’re going to deal with that, but not everybody you deal with is a criminal. It’s not all about taking somebody to jail or turning the blue lights and sirens on; it’s about helping people, and I feel like I’m making a difference now.”