Dear Sheriffs and Chiefs

We are contacting you and requesting your assistance in our research endeavor. The Southern Poverty Law Center has contracted researchers at Mississippi Valley State University (Dr. Kathryn Green, Dr. Oko Elechi, Dr. Rochelle Cobbs, Dr. Sherill Morris-Francis and Dr. Alaba Oludare) along with five student research assistants to look at policing in rural Mississippi.  We began this project in 2020.

Our research consists of newspaper searches, surveys of citizen groups and police officers and sheriff deputies, and focus group discussions with citizen groups.  We are most interested in collecting data on how citizens view their interactions with the law enforcement personnel and their perceptions of safety in their community, and how law enforcement personnel view their interaction with citizens and their fellow officers.  Hopefully, the results of the work will lead to understanding these interactions and, if necessary, improving them. 

The anonymous responses to the attached online survey monkey, which is being sent throughout the state, will be collected and analyzed to determine what issues are foremost in the concerns of Mississippi citizens, including law enforcement personnel.

We hope that you will be able to distribute this survey to your officers/deputies.  The anonymity and location of all respondents will be maintained.  If you have any questions on our project or the survey, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Rochelle Cobbs at 662-254-3133 or

We thank you in advance for your assistance.



MVSU Research Team
33% of survey complete.