Small Town Police Can't Use Radar On Highway 90

Several coast police departments never run radar on Hwy. 90. And the reason just might surprise you.

State law actually says that they can't. But some city leaders are pushing to change that.

It's similar to the state law that prohibits sheriff's departments from using radar. This particular statute affects small-town police departments. Towns with a population less than 15,000 can't run radar on state highways.

That's why cities like Biloxi and Gulfport and Pascagoula can run radar on 90, but Pass Christian cannot.

Anyone speeding on Hwy. 90 in Pass Christian doesn't have to worry about local police radar. Even though the city police department has working radar, officers can't use it on 90.

The police chief says it's time for a change.

"It would be an asset to the City of Pass Christian. Plus the safety factor. I mean you go down there any morning or afternoon rush hour time and people will pass a marked police car. No respect at all," Chief John Dubisson said.

Most residents we talked with support changing the law. Many were unaware of the police prohibition.

Jim Gibson says no radar could be seen by some as permission to speed.

"I can't believe it. Well, you could run like hell through here, then slow down after you get to Long Beach."

Karen Funderburk says police should be allowed to use the radar.

"It would make it safer on Hwy. 90. It definitely would."

It's not just the Pass Christian police chief who'd like the authority to run radar on Highway 90. Neighboring Bay St. Louis and Waveland also fall below the population limit. And the police chiefs of both those cities say they too would like to see the law changed.

The owner of a downtown service station in the Pass would welcome the radar.

"One of the reasons I feel that way, not only for safety sake and people crossing the beach, but if they slowdown they'd see what Pass Christian has. And maybe they'll come up and see us. Maybe they'll see my business,who knows," laughed Alice Russell.