OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Attempts to purchase security cameras for the Biloxi Bay Bridge have hit a roadblock; no money. The Mayor of Ocean Springs, Connie Moran, has been pushing for a camera system since a woman was sexually assaulted on the span five months ago. The mayor is confident she can raise the funds with the public's help.
Kathy Rasmussen recalled walking on the Biloxi Bay Bridge back in November on the same night a woman was sexually assaulted there.
"I was surprised, later, that there was an incident on the bridge that night two hours later," Rasmussen said.
So for Christmas, her family gave her a pink stun gun.
"If I feel threatened, I just have it next to my side. This just makes me feel safer," said Rasmussen.
To enhance security on the bridge, Moran wants to purchase two cameras; one for each end of the span. The low quote came in at $10,000.
"I don't have $10,000 in the budget for this particular item right now. As you know, the board has really cut the budget very drastically, but I think this is a great opportunity to solicit corporate sponsors and allow the public to participate," said Moran.
She is working with the citizens group Gulf Coast WAVE, which stands for Women Against Violence Everywhere, to organize a bridge walk fundraiser.
"I know they raised quite a bit when they had the very first walk just to raise awareness, and I think with the proper publicity and outreach to the public, we can do this," said Moran.
"Oh yes. I would definitely support something like that, especially dealing with the community and with family and kids," said Biloxi resident Alex McDonald. "Security cameras will help out a lot, cut down on a lot of sex offenders, a lot of activity we may not know about that goes on the bridge. It would be a great thing to get the community involved."
Moran is also reaching out to the City of Biloxi and local businesses to help pitch in for the camera system.
"We as a community need to pull together and do what we can to support the city. If there's not money there, then we need to try to find ways to get it, because we are very blessed to have this bridge," said Rasmussen. "Just anything to make us feel a little safer and less threatened on the walk. Anything we can do to make the bridge safer, I think we should do."
Moran said she'd like to hold the bridge walk around Memorial Day, but plans are still preliminary.
Meanwhile, Ocean Springs police have not made an arrest in the sexual assault case.