Waveland new budget plan may save its police force

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - There is even more confusion today in Waveland, where nobody seems to know who which law enforcement agency will be patrolling city streets.

This morning, a request to hire four new Hancock County deputies was turned down by the county's board of supervisors.  The sheriff wanted to bring on the new deputies to provide law enforcement protection in Waveland.

And now, alderwoman Lili Stahler tells WLOX News Director Brad Kessie, "I am not in favor of getting rid of the police department.  I realize we're in a financial bind," she said, "but I feel there are other things that can be done to get out of this."

Everybody thought Waveland would disband its police department Tuesday night, and turn over police protection to the county.  The discussion at Tuesday's meeting was focused on how getting rid of the police department could save the city some much needed money.  Instead of abolishing the department, the issue got tabled until a meeting on Wednesday night.  "If we're going to be a city, we should have a police department," said Stahler.

Because of the city's uncertainty, supervisor Rocky Pullman says the county won't hire anybody until Waveland's determines what its next move will be.  "We're trying to figure out how the people of Hancock County are being protected, and that includes Waveland," said Pullman.

Waveland's city attorney is about to meet with Hancock County supervisors to explain what the city's plan is.  Al Showers is covering that 2:00 meeting.  He'll also be at the 6:30 Waveland Board of Aldermen meeting where an amended budget that saves the police department is supposed to be presented.

As soon as we learn something about Waveland's law enforcement plan, we'll report it on WLOX.com and WLOX News.

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