L-R: Mark Killingsworth, Clark Hicks, Lucy Sanguinetti.
President Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. Steven Utroska provided the opening prayer. A.D. Hunt led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn North and on Zoom.
Joe Bost and thanked those who helped with today’s meeting. He also announced that members are now encouraged to sign-up online to assist with future meetings. Volunteers are needed for greeters, prayers, and the Pledge.
Mark then inducted Coty Primeaux as our club’s newest member. Coty introduced his wife, Holly, who was able to attend the ceremony. Coty grew up in a small southern Louisiana town. He graduated from LSU as a finance major. He currently works as a financial adviser for Regions Bank.
Lucy Sanguinetti then introduced today’s guest speaker, Clark Hicks. Clark is a Mississippi civil litigation attorney in Hattiesburg.
Clark is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club. He is the attorney who defends Hattiesburg Police when actions are taken against them. He says police actions fall into two categories, Constitutional actions which are generally filed in Federal courts, and tort actions which are generally not filed in Federal court. His topic today is the use of technology in defending police officers.
Before 2000, Clark says there was very little use of technology by police. As technology improved and became more affordable, police began using various technologies. All Hattiesburg police cars are now equipped with dash cams. They record videos when an officer encounters a situation. The dash cams are automatic, and footage can be downloaded and viewed. Our officers are also equipped with body cams. They are worn on the officer but have to be manually started and stopped when an officer engages someone. Clark noted that Forrest county officers are currently not using these technologies.
Videos made by these technologies are regulated under the Mississippi Public Disclosure Act. The videos can be released to families, the media, and the public through the Act; however, they can be protected. In Hattiesburg, the videos are not discoverable.
Most police officers embrace the use of these technologies. Courts also like and use these and other technologies. Clark noted that these videos help in police defense, however, they can be misleading. Various camera angles, positions, etc. record different scenes.  Families, the media, and attorneys can pick and choose the videos which best support their narratives. Clark says these technologies are improving and will continue to be a part of law enforcement.
Clark ended his presentation, noting that Hattiesburg police need more officers. He encouraged anyone interested to consider pursuing a law enforcement career. You can reach Clark through his website at https://www.hicksattorneys.com.
Mark thanked Clark for his presentation. He provided members with information about making automatic contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Members who make contributions electronically are encouraged to print their donation receipt and bring it to the club so the contributions can be tracked.
Mark ended the meeting announcing that Steve Ramp’s wife passed away this week. He asked that members remember Steve and his family in their prayers. Steve is currently a resident of an assisted living center, Montgomery Gardens, in Starkville.
There being no further business to come before the club, Mark adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”