Oxford Police Chief Rickie Jack thanks the community for their support during the transition of former Police Chief Michael Ward’s retirement and Jack’s promotion from captain to chief. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

OXFORD — After close to two months on the job, Chief Rickie Jack of the Oxford police department says that the town’s force is close to being fully staffed and in good shape to meet growing demand from the community for law enforcement.

Jack took over leadership of the department following former Chief Michael Ward’s retirement at the end of June.

That left Jack’s old job as captain as the only open position in the department. At a time when law enforcement agencies across the state are seeing more and more unfilled positions, Jack knows how valuable his officers are to Oxford. And he credits Ward for setting him up to succeed.

“Thank god for Chief Ward,” Jack said. “He worked very closely with me over the last 18 months or so to prepare for his retiring. Because of that [the change] doesn’t feel like a huge one. It’s been a relatively easy transition for us.”

Jack expects that he will promote another officer from within the department to become captain. And when the promotion creates an open patrolman position, Jack says he already has candidates who have expressed an interest in the job. Two are already certified officers and a third works as a reserve, which means the police department will be staffed by a completely experienced unit.

Jack recently reported year-to-date stats of police department activities.


Traffic calls top the list, with 232 citations and another 132 written warnings issued. If that trend continues, traffic offenses will more than double last year in Oxford. Police have responded to 149 accidents so far this year, which is about the same rate as in 2021.

Summonses and arrests are up this year. In 2021 122 summonses were issued and since January Oxford’s PD has issued 94. Physical arrests are way up, with 70 reported last year; a number well surpassed this year, which already stands at 100.

The police department is committing more hours to cases as well. This year police have responded to more than 40 domestic violence and sexual assault complaints. Jack said on recent case involved choking the victim, a felony crime.

“These cases take hours to investigate,” Jack said. “It’s not response time and an arrest. There is a lot more that goes into them.”

Property theft, burglary and shoplifting is also on the rise and Jack expects it to increase even more as winter weather begins and people continue to struggle to pay for heating and food.

He also reports that the department has made seven arrests and seized 529 grams of fentanyl.

In addition to serious crimes and accidents, the occasional weird call is also received. One Oxford resident called to complain about a neighbor defecating in their yard. And the police department just received four calls this week from different residents reporting that someone had placed pornographic CD cases in their mailboxes.

Mail tampering is a federal crime but these cases are nuisances that are difficult to investigate and solve.

“If someone has ring cam or other security installed we can take a look at it,” Jack said. “But it’s not really something we can catch people in the act of doing.”

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