Black SpringBreak Isn't Cheap For Taxpayers

Harrison County law enforcers are finalizing plans for this weekend's Black SpringBreak. Today, the Harrison County Supervisors discussed what the event is expected to cost and it appears this is one big party that won't be cheap.

How much money are we talking about? Black SpringBreak is expected to cost taxpayers close to a million dollars. Here is how the money will be spent:

  • Harrison County will spend almost three hundred thousand dollars on police radios, portable toilets, barricades and overtime and salaries for deputies, including out of town officers.
  • Biloxi and Gulfport each expect to spend around $200,000 on the event.

County and city leaders say they know it's a lot but they must be prepared for anything that could happen. As police, county and city leaders prepare for an onslaught of young people this weekend, the costs keep getting bigger.

Harrison County's Emergancy-911 Commission asked the county supervisors for permission to spend $10,000 just on police radios so officers can communicate with each other. "We have twenty different law enforcement agencies that are going to be down here. We've got a good plan in place. It's going to incur some additional expense for us to get a temporary radio system for all these agencies to communicate. We've got some radios donated, others we're gonna have to lease for a period of 30 days," said Steve Delahousey with the E-911 Commission.

The sheriff's department estimates to spend about $240,000. Sheriff George Payne says that will pay for his officers overtime as well as the overtime and some salaries of deputies who are coming from across the state to help with traffic and crowd control. "We've got deputies from Hinds County, we've got the entire mounted unit from Hinds County coming here and we've got 'em coming' from Adams County, Lauderdale County, local counties. We've got a lot of extra help coming so everybody can have a safe springbreak."

The supervisors say costs isn't the issue making sure law enforcement has the resources it needs is more important. Supervisors' President, Larry Benefield told WLOX, "It's going be expensive, but you know what, it could be a whole lot more expensive if we didn't have the manpower and the facilities there for people to use so this is precautionary measures, certainly not to get anyone excited, these are things to help provide a safer environment for both our people and the people who are coming' too."

By next Monday, Sheriff George Payne says he hopes he can say that things went well and that the young people had a good, but safe time.

Black Springbreak starts this Friday.