Police Protection In D'Iberville Being Examined

When D'Iberville incorporated 13 years ago, the city agreed to pay Harrison County $500,000 a year for police protection. Now that D'Iberville is fighting with Biloxi to annex land north of the city, the supervisors say that's one reason to re-examine the deal.

"We need to be sure that, number one, we're not subsidizing in any form or fashion the services we're providing in D'Iberville with other people's tax dollars," Board of Supervisors President Larry Benefield said. "There is perceived in some areas that we are, and I believe some people think that we are, and I think it's time that we look at it again to be sure that D'Iberville is paying for all the services we're providing."

To help them determine that when they're debating the budget, Benefield says the supervisors want information from Sheriff George Payne.

"The sheriff is going to provide some documentation to us, showing us exactly what our costs are, all the different related expenses and what the amount of reimbursement is so the board can make a good decision," Benefield said.

Sheriff George Payne says a cost analysis of providing service to D'Iberville has never been done, and doing the math will simply ensure that all expenses are being reimbursed.

Benefield says if the supervisors decide to pull county law enforcement from D'Iberville, it won't be immediately. He says the city will have plenty of time to get its own police protection in place.

D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave says he can't comment on possible changes in law enforcement in his city because the city is about to begin its annexation trial on July 3rd.

D'Iberville is in Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius's district, but he did not return phone calls for comment.