BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Law enforcement officers are closely monitoring the traffic along Highway 90 in Biloxi and Gulfport. On Friday, they made final preparations for the arrival of what could be tens of thousands of Spring Break visitors. Extra sets of eyes will be watching the activities from the ground and in the air.
Biloxi Police officers and Harrison County deputies spent Friday setting up a command center on the south side of Edgewater Mall. A dozen ATVs are in place and supplies continued to arrive.
"We're just to going to keep an eye on things and we have all the equipment in place to respond for traffic needs and crowd issues and whatever else may happen," said Jim Adamo with the Biloxi Police Department.
Inside the mobile command center, officers will use some high-tech gadgets to get a bird's eye view of spring break activities this weekend. Six cameras are mounted on the unit, including two that can go 56-feet in the air.
"They do a 360 degree and I can zoom in and read the tag numbers," explained Walter Pitts with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.
A helicopter camera can feed live video from 13-miles away. There's also a radio system, dispatch center, video conferencing room, and an outdoor work station.
This year, there's a new addition to the mobile fleet: his and hers portable bathrooms. The unit will come in handy, because extra Biloxi officers will be on duty, along with 60 Harrison County sheriff's deputies. They plan to enforce parking, traffic, and other safety rules.
"Five or 10 cars stopping for five or ten seconds causes a lot of traffic delays. So the first thing we would do is close off the turnaround points to make sure people move constantly east and west," said Adamo.
Police expect heavy traffic to be concentrated between DeBuys Road and Rodenburg Avenue.
"It's going to be play it by ear, monitor the activity, and respond accordingly. We want to make sure that everybody is safe," said Adamo.
The officers are prepared to work longer hours if needed. And they expect to be on duty through Sunday afternoon.