Combining Forces Is Possible - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN WIGGINS MAY BE RESTRUCTURED

Combining Forces Is Possible

It's a topic that's been discussed off and on for a while now in Stone County, but with all the recent talk about economic slow downs, efforts to combine the Wiggins Police Department and the Stone County Sheriff's Department may finally be happening.

"If it's going to enhance, so to speak, the quality of life in Stone County, and it will give us better law enforcement county-wide, then certainly I'd be for it," Wiggins Mayor Ferris O'Neal said.

"Right now, I am sure that Wiggins and Stone County like any other governmental agencies are experiencing budget crunches, so they're looking at ways to better utilize the citizens tax dollars," County Sheriff Mike Ballard said.

The plan would do away with the Wiggins Police Department and move the 12 officers currently working there into the Sheriff's Department. But can one department still provide residents in Wiggins with the same protection they have now?

"With the consolidation of services, you're talking a minimum of five to six officers on a shift seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and each one of those officers would be utilized in the city limits as well as the county, so if a major event occurs in the city of Wiggins, we have five to six officers that can respond versus two or three," Sheriff Ballard said.

One man who has been on the outside looking in, so to speak, is Wiggins Chief of Police Steve Compston.  He says he thinks the idea can work if planned properly. "We have to have our budget finalized by September the 15th, and I don't see how any negotiations done correctly could be worked out in this short time."

The Wiggins Board of Alderman and Stone County Supervisors have to discuss the idea, including who will pay for grants and other debts incurred by the Wiggins Police Department.

By Kenn Kerr

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Tropical Storm Watch canceled for South Mississippi

    Tropical Storm Watch canceled for South Mississippi

    Sunday, May 27 2018 12:02 PM EDT2018-05-27 16:02:23 GMT
    10 AM NHC Alberto Forecast Track10 AM NHC Alberto Forecast Track

    The Tropical Storm Watch for Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties has been cancelled.

    More >>

    The Tropical Storm Watch for Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties has been cancelled.

    More >>
  • Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:53:04 GMT
    Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>
  • Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:45:48 GMT
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly