D'Iberville police say growth causing need for more officers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

D'Iberville police say growth causing need for more officers

Officials say they plan to ask for additional officiers in next year's budget. (Photo source: WLOX News) Officials say they plan to ask for additional officiers in next year's budget. (Photo source: WLOX News)
D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) -

One day after opening there was still a buzz around the Scarlet Pearl casino, and D'Iberville police were on hand making sure people wanting to try their luck were able to come and go safely. 

Chief Wayne Payne said, "Yesterday was very busy. We probably had 12 officers assigned to that area doing nothing but traffic."

D'Iberville's chief says the officers directing casino traffic are not being pulled off patrol and are instead working overtime — overtime that he says the casino is helping to pay for.

"Any time you have an increase in your population, whether it's your service population or growth due to new citizens moving to our area, you're going to get an increase in calls for service," said Chief Payne. "Every call for service has a response time on us that we have to respond to, from burglaries to shoplifting to accidents." 

Ward One Council member Randall Pelous says the city leaders know about the need, and their number one priority is public safety.

"We hope to add three new firemen and three to five new officers possibly more. We just have to see how next year's budget plays out. Once added revenue from the casino starts flowing good, it's going to be great for the city," said Pelous.

 D'Iberville police say they've outgrown their current police station, and city leaders say they'd like to build a new building that would serve as a police station and an EOC in the future. 

"We got two additional in our budget this year and certainly we'll re-evaluate the manpower allocation as we grow. As this city grows there will be a need for additional law enforcement and firefighters," added Payne. 

Police officials say they plan to ask the city for additional officers in the 2016 budget.

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